Anaheim Blew Off Sacramento Public Records Request

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Anaheim, it seems, doesn’t just blow off local media outlets when it comes to public records requests. Requests from other cities also get the cold shoulder.

On March 4, the city of Sacramento, in the wake of the planned move by the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings to the Honda Center, filed a request with Anaheim, under the California Public Records Act, for records relating to the possible move.

Weeks went by and Sacramento received nothing from Anaheim, even though the law requires a response within 10 working days. Then, late in the day on March 25 (the Friday before the Cesar Chavez holiday weekend) Anaheim officials posted the documents on the city’s website.

Sacramento Assistant City Manager John Dangberg was furious. He wrote the following in a letter to Anaheim City Manager Tom Wood:

Anaheim has yet to provide the City with a single record although it is apparent that Anaheim has labored for many months to produce the records (albeit incomplete records) posted on Anaheim’s website late Friday before the three-day Cesar Chavez holiday weekend.”

Dangberg is not alone in his frustrations.

Anaheim has had an ongoing problem meeting the requirements of the 40-year-old state law. Officials have blamed their slow response on a citywide effort to transfer paper records into electronic records.

As Voice of OC reported last year, other Orange County communities, using similar technology, seem to be able to provide the public with information that Anaheim cannot.

In the case of the Sacramento request, 18 working days elapsed between the time Dangberg said the city filed the request and his letter to Wood complaining about the lack of compliance.

A Sacramento city spokesperson said Thursday the city has since received some of the records it sought.

An Anaheim spokesperson, in an email, said Thursday “I did verify with our City Clerk’s office that the City of Anaheim did fully comply with the public records request from the city of Sacramento.”

But the spokesperson did not explain the long delay.

— TRACY WOOD

 

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