Last week I made an identical request for public records from the county and the city. In Montgomery County you send your request to the Auditor’s office, run by Karl Keith, the elected Democrat who is also Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. They have a very informative page with all the info you need to fill out a request here: http://www.mcohio.org/government/auditor/public_records_policy.html
“I’d like a spreadsheet with the names of all county employees- title and department, home zip code and the street number of their home.
Thank you very much.”
I immediately got an automated reply saying they had received the request. A few days later I got another email clarifying the request:
After reviewing your public records request, further clarification is needed. Please clarify that the information you are requesting is listed below…
- Names of all county employees
- Title and Department
- Home Zip Code
- Home street number
Please respond to this email to confirm or clarify if the above criterion is accurate or inaccurate.
I said that was correct and thank you. The next day it showed up. Exactly what I asked for.
On the other hand, the request to the city generated this response from Tom Biedenharn, from the city’s office of public affairs. The city FOIA request page is here: http://www.cityofdayton.org/departments/pa/Pages/PublicInformationRequest.aspx
We have completed your request to the extent that we can. However, according to a previous Ohio Supreme Court ruling, State ex rel Dispatch Printing Company vs. Johnson, 2005 – 106 Ohio St. 3d, 160 (see attached), home addresses of public employees are not subject to Open Records Requests since they do not fall under the definition of a record that “documents the activities” of the organization. Please find attached a document containing the other information you requested.
Office of Public Affairs
He included a 24 page PDF explaining why it was none of my business to get the home zip code and house number of city employees. I’m including a copy of it here: Case re public request for employee addresses
And while the response with the list of employees was almost instant- even with going back and forth, he stood his ground.
Please note, that if you are a registered voter in the state of Ohio- anyone, can go to the Secretary of State site and download the voter files, with your full name, address, birth year, gender, political party affiliation, and voting record (if you voted- not who you voted for). Yet, asking where the people we pay to work for us are is private?
Note, I was careful, not to ask for home addresses- just a zip code and a house number. I really don’t care where you live, but I was trying to corroborate something that I think is of major interest to the taxpayers of our county: Who is getting patronage jobs- and how they are controlling elections.
But, that’s the beauty of the Sunshine Laws- I don’t have to explain why I’m asking. The fact that the two government entities treat my request differently is an issue. But, what’s more important is what I found and posted in a previous post: