CH needs a better public records policy

To the Editor:

Cleveland Heights should have a public records policy of which it can be proud. There is room for improvement.

The city’s public records policy is difficult for the average person to find on its website. One must locate the link to the codified ordinances and then run a search query.

The official public records policy appears in Chapter 105 of the Cleveland Heights Codified Ordinances. The policy is, surprisingly, only two paragraphs long. By contrast, the Model Public Records Policy suggested by the Ohio Attorney General is three pages long. That policy is well written and easy for any city to adopt as its own. Links to the both policies can be found at www.whipple-law.com.

A seven-section Cleveland Heights policy, published in 2007, ironically does not appear to be available to the public—at least nowhere on the city’s website. There is no known explanation why the 2007 policy is different from, and somewhat inconsistent with, the “official” policy that appears in the Codified Ordinances.

The time is ripe for Cleveland Heights to enact a first-class public records policy and to prominently display that policy on its website.

Douglas Whipple

Douglas Whipple
Cleveland Heights

Read More on Letters To The Editor
Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 3:16 PM, 10.01.2013