Law Director Max Rothal estimated the city has spent about $200,000 in staff hours — including overtime and comp time — fulfilling record requests in the past 12 months.
108 requests were made between Jan. 2 and March 30. It’s worth noting that this expense is largely a factor of:
- Time spending redacting information from the documents.
- The fact that the city doesn’t put its financial records online in a searchable database.
For example, one of the requests that seems to be causing heartburn in a request for:
- The electric bill for City Hall for July 2008
- The bottled water and 5-gallon jug purchases by the city from May to August of last year.
If Akron’s checkbook register was online — as it should be — then there’d be no need for this drama. The recall supporters shouldn’t be accused of abusing the Ohio Sunshine Law when the underlying problem is with how the city has chosen to manage its records.