North Canton vows to email public records if asked

From the Canton Repository Council President Jeff Peters, Ward 2, said Tuesday the city will, with a few exceptions, email public records to those asking for them.

Since November, under a policy drafted by Law Director Tim Fox and approved by then-Council President Jon Snyder, the city had refused to email public records because Fox said the city could not confirm they had been received. Prior to November, the city’s policy, approved by council in 2008, explicitly said city employees could email or fax public records with the approval of the requesters.

Peters said he met with Fox and new Council Clerk Mary Beth Bailey for about an hour Tuesday morning to discuss the issue in response to a recent Repository article and editorial on the city’s public-records policy. Peters said Fox will draft a new letter that Peters and Mayor David Held will sign, notifying city employees of the policy change.

“I made it very clear to them that I expect all records to be transmitted in the manner the requester asks for moving forward,” said Peters, who added at least three other council members agree with the policy change. “The bottom line is I’m not playing games any more with opinions or interpretations. We’re going to give them what they want. They’re their records.”

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