A county resident also criticized South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District staff during Tuesday’s meeting for not responding immediately to her verbal request for minutes from previous sanitation district board meetings.
Susan Knott said she was told to write a request for the meeting minutes on Sept. 8, several days after she had verbally asked for them. She was able to view documents Wednesday at the plant’s office in Oceano.
“I’m maintaining that what I’m asking for should have been available immediately,” she said.
Michael Seitz, the district’s attorney, said staff had asked Knott to file her request in writing so they would be clear on what she wanted. Doing so, he said, gives the district 10 days to review the request and respond under the California Public Records Act.
The district currently only posts copies of its agendas on its website at http://sslocsd.org. It’s common for other agencies, such as cities and counties, to post meeting agendas, annual budgets, minutes, news releases and even videos of their meetings online.
Seitz said full agendas, including staff reports, would now be posted online the Friday before a board meeting.
Jim Ewert, legal counsel for the California Newspapers Publishers Association, said the California Public Records Act does not require that a request be submitted in writing, and that an agency on its own cannot impose a requirement on the public that does not exist in the act.
— Cynthia Lambert