Durango, Colo., officials are trying to close what they see as a public-records loophole that is costing them money.
The Durango Herald reports that the city is proposing an ordinance that would ban people from photographing public records they request. It seems people are using their cellphones and tablet computers to get around photocopying fees by taking pictures of the documents.
The city charges 25 cents per page after the first 10 pages, whether the information is photocopied or scanned for emailing, along with billing for the employee’s time to prepare the files. Colorado’s records law, like Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act, allow people to inspect public documents for free.
So far in Utah, it’s perfectly legal to take pictures of the documents without having to pay a fee. Even HB477 didn’t try to outlaw that practice.
City Clerk Amy Phillips told the paper that city workers will consolidate documents for a records request, and expect the person to come in and pick which ones should be copied.
"[B]ut we’re finding out now that people are able to come in with a phone and just (photograph) the copies," Phillips said. "Then we don’t retrieve the money we spent."
Along with a photo ban, the city is also proposing a $30-per-hour fee to for gathering the documents.
The proposal goes to a City Council vote on Tuesday.
|1.||You won’t believe the secret to this picture of Morgan Freeman|
|2.||USC's hiring affects Utah, BYU|
|3.||Recipes: 5 all-star holiday cookies from our archives|
|4.||Arizona officials blamed for deaths of 19 firefighters|
|5.||Mixx fails to pay fines, loses liquor license|
|6.||Sundance Film Festival unwraps a fierce 2014 competition slate|
|7.||Four days after plane goes down in Idaho, searchers still seek wreckage|
|8.||Provo Tabernacle video shows building’s transformation into Mormon temple|
|9.||Court: Mormon church, members not liable in injury|
|10.||Federal judge to hear arguments in Utah same-sex marriage case|