The Mountain Times

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Killington to consider public information policy

Following a month of debate over a 100,000-document information request from the town's moderator, the Killington Select Board has agreed to let Town Manager Seth Webb draft a policy for future board approval that could mean the town wouldn't have to comply to all requests for public information if any request cost the town too much time and money to fulfill.

Webb suggested the policy at last week's Select Board meeting held June 18.

Webb said he wanted to ensure that "compliance doesn't negatively impact municipal services."
The information request, which is currently in the process of being fulfilled by the town, was filed by Killington private attorney and town moderator Melvin B. Neisner.

The request occupied the majority of discussion at the Board's June 7 meeting.

On June 18, it was reported by the Select Board that fulfilling the request, which asks for cell phone records of town officials, emails over the last three years and other documentation, could cost the town more than $25,000 and take 40 weeks.

The draft policy could include a form that the town will create to give to members of the public who request information, providing the cost to fulfill the request and a list of 39 exemptions the town has to the state's public information law, according to Webb.

Select Board Chairman Chris Bianchi said the Board is currently waiting on a response from Neisner on the cost of fulfilling his request.
Neisner did not respond to a call to his office for comment on the issue Friday.

Cristina Kumka is a correspondent for The Mountain Times. She can be reached directly at cristina_kumka@yahoo.com.