On Thursday, the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists sent a letter to Mayor Kevin Faulconer and members of the City Council, asking staff to prioritize access to public records and information when allocating resources for the city’s upcoming fiscal year.
To read the letter, click here.
As stated in the letter, SPJ President Lisa Halverstadt and Advocacy Chair Tom Jones met with the city’s public records staff to discuss the results of a survey conducted on the city’s NextRequest public records system. More than 175 people took the survey, and many mentioned a need for additional city staff to process public-records requests and answer questions about them. Of those surveyed, 46 percent said records were not released within the timelines initially offered by city staff.
SD-SPJ hopes the city will ensure it has adequate resources, both within the department managing the NextRequest system and within other individual departments, to respond to public-records requests.
The Board feels a more transparent government and access to information will result in a more informed San Diego community.