John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

The Other Side of Open Records

Newtown Township Board of Supervisors Meeting, March 14, 2018

Newtown Township Manager Kurt Ferguson presents the "dark" side of PA's Right-to-Know (Open Records) Law in response to my presentation of the results of my PA Right-to-Know Law Quiz (see here).

Mr. Ferguson raises some good points, but cites mostly anecdotal cases or cases from other municipalities that did not know the limits of what is required by Right-to-Know (RTK) or about police RTK issues that now are NOT covered by the RTK law, but by a separate law. The Newtown Police Department has its own Open Records Officer to deal with that. Mr. Ferguson also mentioned that most of the RTK requests come from businesses looking for information about permits issued and contractor data. These requests, which serve private business interests and not PUBLIC interests, are relatively easy to process and require very little time and effort. IMHO, you cannot throw the baby out with the bath water because of these nuisances - not that Mr. Ferguson is suggesting that.

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