“You want a copy of what now?”

Investigation finds Pacific Junction mayor violated open records.

Citizen requestor asked Mayor Jim Lovely for a copy of the city’s budget on May 26, 2006. Here is a partial transcript from the ensuing conversation:

Mayor Lovely: “You want a copy of what now?”

Smith: “The detailed budget from the one that was published in the paper May the third.”

Mayor Lovely: “It’s immaterial now.”

Smith: “Are you denying me a copy of it?”

Mayor Lovely: “Yes.”

Smith: “And for what reason?”

Mayor Lovely: “Because that has no bearing on this year’s budget at all.”

Mayor Jim Lovely has been ordered by Iowa’s ombudsman for open records to apologize and review the state statute pertaining to open records.

Good.

But did Smith ever get a copy of the budget? How long did he have to wait? By the time he got it, was it too late to address whatever concerns may have provoked him to ask for the budget in the first place?

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