Critic says city officials shouldn't babysit Right to Know rule
A $58,000-a-year city planner sat next to a Union Leader staffer this week as the reporter looked over a planning board file and used a smart phone to photograph items in the file. The 15 minutes of staff time amounted to about $7 in salary, not counting benefits.
One of the policy’s harshest critics, radio-show host Richard Girard, said it’s ironic that the policy — supposedly written because Right to Know requests were taking so much staff time — requires a city worker to “babysit” anyone who reviews records.
Earlier this week, city planner Jonathan Golden told a reporter he could not email information from a Planning Board file, a practice common before the policy went into effect.
“I would say that’s a policy of the board (of aldermen). That’s a vote the board took,” he said.
The city posts information provided to most Manchester boards and committees online before a meeting. But workers post only the agendas for the planning and zoning boards. No backup materials — which usually include applications, narratives, maps and letters — are placed online.
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