Our district received a request for contact information for each of our board members. What information do we have to release? Should we first ask the requestor why they want the information?
September 9, 2011
This should be treated as a public records request. The first thing you should do is review your district’s policy on public records requests. You do not need to, and should not, ask the requestor why they want the information. That cannot impact whether or not you give it to them. The request should list the specific information that is wanted. If you have the specific information, you should release it: Full name, mailing address, email address, phone number. You do not have to go and research information you don’t already have. It would be a good idea to ask your board members what information they would like to have released when the request is a vague one for ‘contact information’. If the district has set up a district email account for each board member this would be a good time to use that address. However, your board members need to be aware that ‘nothing’ is not acceptable as contact information and their mailing address, email, phone number will all have to be released if requested. The information provided when a candidate files to run for election is also a public record from the county elections clerk.
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