For months, a guy doing a lot of business in Chester has baited me to write something on his experience trying to obtain minutes of Chester City Council meetings. At first I thought he was kidding that they weren’t on the website or available for the asking. Neither was the case.
A couple years ago, before I launched the Chester Matters paper, the plan was to do a Wilmington (DE) Matters paper. Their city government was so excited of the prospect of having a new paper on the streets they started sending me their City Council agendas and resolutions right away and they kept coming long after we scrapped the project to start the paper. If Wilmington had an email list for that stuff, I knew Chester had one. Nope.
It got so crazy, the guy filed an Open Records Request just to get his hands on City Council minutes. He was finally granted the minutes which were assembled to send to him via email…only after he paid $94.75. That was too disturbing for even me to write about. He later requested another minutes and was charged $10. I didn’t want to hear anymore.
Then, today, I happened to stumble on the new and improved Chester City website where City Council minutes are available to download for free.
I hope they give that man his money back.