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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thurston County Treasurer Opposes Making Public Records Requests Easier

Not many citizens know the details of county organizational charts. "Oh, the Public Works Director reports to the Finance Division, not Planning and Land Use. Of course. I should have known that."

A citizen who wants public records from a county should only need to go one place: the county, not each department of the county. The Legislature thought so too, passing a law in 2005 requiring every "agency"--and that inclues a county--to have one public records officer who is the public's "point of contact" for making records requests.

Thurston County Treasurer Robin Hunt doesn't like that. The Olympian reports that Hunt thinks a citizen should be required to request records from each separately elected county officer. (But wouldn't that increase the number of public records requests that counties always claim are strangling local government?) Hunt is mad at the State Auditor for suggesting that counties comply with the 2005 law.