It’s my privilege to introduce you to Linda and Kurt Kurzmiller of Shrewsbury Township, Pennsylvania. The Kurzmillers are the 41st/42nd recipients of the much-coveted Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week award.
Under the new Freedom of Information law in Pennsylvania it is easier and more straightforward to file appeals of rejections. The first day the new law was in effect was January 15, and the Kurzmillers were the first to come to the new office to file an appeal.
Mr. and Mrs. Kurzmiller have been seeking copies of tax records from Shrewsbury Township relating to EML Codes Enforcement, a third-party vendor that provides building inspection services to the township. Township officials gave the Kurzmiller’s the information for some years, but not for 2004.
Jean Green is the township’s secretary and treasurer. As far as she is concerned, the Kurzmiller and their quest for information are an annoyance. “I’ve told them — I’ve told them three times, it does not exist.” Mr. Kurzmiller says that Greene grumbles at him whenever he drops by with a right-to-know request.
The Kurzmillers believe that the record for 2004 exists, but may not be in the physical keeping of the township at this time…and that this does not relieve that township of the legal obligation to secure the record from wherever it might have taken up domicile, such as at the business or residence of the third-party contractor.
And now, there is a state agency charged with mediating disputes like this, and not a moment too soon.
Carry on, Linda and Kurt Kurzmiller, with our thanks and best wishes.