This weekend, I submitted CORA requests for specific documents to six area districts: Littleton, DPS, Cherry Creek, Boulder, Adams 12 and DougCo. CORA gives the government agency 3 business days to respond. It is now Wednesday, and I have responses from all six districts.
I also submitted an admittedly more complex CORA to Jeffco at the same time. I haven’t heard a single word from Jeffco. Not even an acknowledgement that they got my CORA request. The subject: public records relating to the hiring of Nina/Lisa Pinto.
Looks like Nina/Lisa Pinto might be in over her head.
We don’t get answers to our questions from John Newkirk, Ken Witt or Julie Williams. We don’t get answers to our questions from Dan McMinimee. The only avenue we have for information is to get it straight from the district. And since so many of our district staff have left, we must use the CORA process. Yes, it costs the district money. Yes, it diverts their attention from their jobs (but with all these new folks, is that such a bad thing – it seems that many of them can’t make good decisions). But the secrecy and waste have to stop.
I urge you, if you have sent a letter to the Board and not received answers to your questions, take a look at CORA and see if the information you want may already exist as a public record. The district has no obligation (and won’t) create a document for you. But you have a right to most public records (including electronic files, like documents & emails), unless a specific exception applies. I have asked for documents that don’t exist, and you get a letter back telling you that. No harm no foul there.
They can charge you beyond the first hour up to $30/hr and they can charge for copying. But if you are looking for specific information and your CORA request is specific & clear, production of document(s) often won’t take more than an hour. The District’s CORA policy is available on Board Docs as District Policy KDB: Public’s Right to Know, which sets forth how to make the request and other important information.
Here are more resources if you want to learn more about your right to public records:
Wendy R McCord