Consequences of Truth
§25-61-1. Short title This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983." It is the policy of the Legislature that public records must be available for inspection by any person unless otherwise provided by this act. Furthermore, providing access to public records is a duty of each public body and automation of public records must not erode the right of access to those records. As each agency increases its use of and dependence on electronic record keeping, each agency must ensure reasonable access to records electronically maintained, subject to the rules of records It is the policy of this state that public records shall be available for inspection by any person unless otherwise provided by this chapter; furthermore, providing access to public records is a duty of each public body and automation of public records must not erode the right of access to those records. As each public body increases its use of, and dependence on, electronic record keeping, each public body must ensure reasonable access to records electronically maintained, subject to records retention.
§ 25-61-5. Public access to records; denials (1) (a) Except as otherwise provided by Sections 25-61-9 and 25-61-11, all public records are hereby declared to be public property, and any person shall have the right to inspect, copy or mechanically reproduce or obtain a reproduction of any public record of a public body in accordance with reasonable written procedures adopted by the public body concerning the cost, time, place and method of access, and public notice of the procedures shall be given by the public body, or, if a public body has not adopted written procedures, the right to inspect, copy or mechanically reproduce or obtain a reproduction of a public record of the public body shall be provided within one (1) working day after a written request for a public record is made. No public body shall adopt procedures which will authorize the public body to produce or deny production of a public record later than seven (7) working days from the date of the receipt of the request. I will check Monday to see if an ordinance is on file to see if this requires further investigation by the Mississippi Ethics Commission.
So, are they actually using this time to process bill or are they up to something else? Only the ones in the office know the answer to that question. I guess I must learn which battles to fight because the law says they can make me wait up to seven days if the city has an ordinance regarding this matter but I doubt one is in place because there has never been any restricted access to the minute books since the new city hall was built. As a matter of fact, Mayor Russel Lander demanded a public records room for easier access to the records by the public.
I know there's times when readers may think this blog is cacophonous, especially if they're the subject of a post, but the truth is not always wrapped in a pretty package. So when I say a person is inept, incompetent, unskilled, inexpert or amaturish, I'm referring to their skills or lack thereof. When I blog it's always buiness, never personal. I blog about the good, the bad and ugly aspects of Lumberton and some take it as an attack instead of accepting it as creative criticism. There are times when I was diametrically opposed, at some point, with all three department heads but thankfully, Chief Elsie Cowart and Public Works Director, Danny Davis, appreciate opposing views and they will either explain why they made a decision that upset citizens or address our concerns. Lumberton is small and those of us that were raised here, that are invested and connected to this town, want to see it thrive academically, industrially and economically. Lumberton has a slew of great people, and there's some dedicated and professional city employees. The police department is full of concerned officers but I think we're on the verge of losing more good officers because of low pay, long hours and outdated cars/equipment. The court clerk goes above and beyound collecting fines and processing court papers despite the board slashing her hours. Jimmy Holder is an excellent public works employee and would have made a great director but I think he's about to retire. One thing people must learn when working in the public sector, thick skin is required. My first year of blogging garnered hate mail and the egging of my car but if the criticism was based on facts not feelings, I made the necessary adjustments. Blogging is a different genre that's steadily evolving. Unlike printed articles, the parameters of a blog are extremely porous and its truth inherently transitory.