Billings Township, Michigan: Confused

Take this with a grain of salt, since I don’t yet have independent confirmation.

But, I did just get an email saying that officials of a small town in northern Michigan are trying to file an open records request on an independent, private, activist citizen’s group. When the citizen’s group explained to the officials that citizens FOIA the government, not the other way around, someone from the township called the Michigan Attorney General to complain and insist that the citizen’s group honor the FOIA.

The good news is that the township officials got the right answer from the AG.

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3 responses to “Billings Township, Michigan: Confused

  1. I am Secretary of the Concerned Citizens Committee in Billings Township, Gladwin Co., MI and Editor of THE EAGLE EYE.

    We did get a FOIA from an ex official/current assignee of the Township. She is running for Township Clerk again. She should have known better or perhaps she was trying to intimidate us. We knew better.

  2. Pingback: Open Records

  3. I am Editor of THE EAGLE EYE newsletter of the Concerned Citizens Committee of Billings Township, Gladwin Co, Michigan. Please visit http://www.cccbillings.com

    The Billings Township Board has denied the existence of Phase III of the sewer project at several board meetings. Since the Fall of 2007, we have sent several Michigan FOIA requests for info on Phase III of the sewer project which the Township failed to reply to. Finally on May 11, 2008, I sent them a Federal FOIA request for the info since the sewer is Federally Funded. What the heck?

    The Township partially replied 2 months later via email. In their reply, Billings Township denied the existence of Phase III (TWICE).

    Now the interesting part: We sent the exact same FOIA request to the USDA Rural Development. RD replied to our FOIA with a map of Phase III and other info on Phase III. In addition, RD recognized our FOIA request as being made by ‘a representative of the news media’ -THE EAGLE EYE and did not charge fees. At last nights board meeting, The Township Board denied THE EAGLE EYE news media status under Federal or State Law. By the way, Michigan Law needs to change.

    Also, what do we do about a Township Board that brazenly lied ‘in writing’ about the existence of Phase III?

    Respectfully,

    Patricia G. Gnotek
    Secretary / Concerned Citizens Committee
    of Billings Township
    Editor: THE EAGLE EYE

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