Memory Lane: County refuses to provide open online Commission e-mail access
Eighteen months ago, community leaders asked the Sarasota County Commission to provide online access to all Commission e-mails. The County Commission refused. Venice and the City of Sarasota provide open online access. Why won’t the County?
Because shabby government practices can only persist if we all accept and forget, here is a copy of that very reasonable request from community leaders on March 24, 2012.
From: sue lang <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Public Access To Email
Date: March 24, 2012 10:22:41 AM EDT
To: <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, nora patterson <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Alice White <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Dick Sheldon <email@example.com>, Gayle Reynolds <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Glenn <email@example.com>, John McBride <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Kate Lowman <email@example.com>, Laurel Schiller <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Bill Zoller <email@example.com>, Bill Earl <firstname.lastname@example.org>, ann kaplan <email@example.com>, Bill Duerig <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Kafi Benz <email@example.com>, Lourdes Ramirez <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, Wade Matthews <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Ed Martin <email@example.com>, Dixie Stevens <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Gayle Wardner Zentz <email@example.com>, “Att. Lobeck” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Cathy Antunes <email@example.com>, Pat Rounds <firstname.lastname@example.org>, sue lang <email@example.com>
Currently the public access site shows only outgoing email from County Commissioners. It would be equally helpful to also see incoming e-Mails to the County Commission.
Other jurisdictions such as Venice and Alachua County currently allow public access to both incoming and outgoing communications to/from one or more elected officials.
It would also be helpful if at least one year of archived email could be accessible and searchable without having to do a public records request which requires staff time.
In the spirit of open and transparent government, please add these enhancements to the public access system on scgov.net.
Sarasota County Public Interest Coalition which includes the following members:
Citizens for Sensible Growth, Bill Zoller, President
Control Growth Now, Dan Lobeck, President
Manasota 88, Glenn Compton, President
Sarasota County Council of Neighborhorhood Associations, Lourdes Ramirez, President; Ann Kaplan, Bill Zoller, Cathy Antunes, Kafi Benz, Dick Sheldon and Sue Lang, Board Members
Sarasota Citzens for Responsible Government, Cathy Antunes, President
Siesta Key Community, Inc., Lourdes Ramirez, President
Dixie Stevens, Sarasota Conservation Chair, Sarasota Manatee Sierra Club