It was interesting to hear the city of Langley blame the people who request public records for the fact that the city has lost two large suits in recent years around how they handle such requests.
That’s like blaming the pedestrian who is hit on a legal crosswalk by a car running a red light.
As one of the people who has experienced the city’s performance in this area, I can only say that they are lucky it hasn’t been worse.
For example, I was a regular requester of the records around ex-chief David Marks. Over the course of several months I received scans of emails and various documents.
In August, someone else asked for all records to date on the same matter. Instead of simply sending the person the same five or six file attachments I had been sent, the city sent the person two completely new scans.
This was clearly a lot more time-consuming, of course, as the records are hand-scanned from printed sheets of paper.
When person “X” and I compared the records we had been sent, they had not received 56 records that had been sent to me. On the other hand, they received eight records that I hadn’t been sent. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason regarding which records they got and I didn’t and vice-versa. It seemed completely random. When I asked the city clerk for an explanation of this bizarre circumstance, as well as the other problems I had had, I didn’t receive an answer.
It would be nice if The Record would get another point of view before just printing the city clerk’s explanation of rising costs in Langley that blame everyone but the city itself.