They Didn’t Ask for Paper….

The Anniston City Council today plans to discuss taking legal action to collect $1,855.40 from The Anniston Star for open records the newspaper requested, but never received in the form requested.

“If the Council is playing games, we’ll take their pointed jab in good spirit,” Star publisher Brandt Ayers said. “However, on substance, there is no debt; nothing in the law or common sense requires us to pay for something that we specifically and repeatedly said we did not want.”

The Star made a written request on Jan. 14, 2010, for e-mails sent by Councilmen Ben Little, Herbert Palmore, John Spain and David Dawson as well as Mayor Gene Robinson over the last three months of 2009. The request specified the documents be sent electronically to Gmail.com accounts set up to receive them.

“We do NOT request printouts of the material,” the request specified.

In February 2010, city manager Don Hoyt delivered to Star editor Bob Davis, who made the request, more than 800 pages of printed and redacted e-mails along with a bill for $1,855.40. Broken down, that bill includes a 50-cent-per-copy fee for 344 pages from an undated earlier invoice, a fee for $10 an hour plus 5 cents per copy for 818 pages of e-mails, $768 for the Hoyt’s time, $412 for legal fees, and $262.50 for services of the city’s Internet provider.

Read more:Anniston Star – Anniston council would charge newspaper 1 855 for public records

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