In a bid to promote openness and transparency at all levels of Kansas government, Gov. Jeff Colyer signed four executive orders last week.
Although the Governor’s office can’t mandate local government entities to promote open government, Kara Fullmer, press secretary, said “It is hoped we can lead by example.”
Although both Gardner and Edgerton have a policy allowing copy charges for Kansas Open Record Requests, the charges are sometimes waived and information is supplied electronically.
“The City of Gardner does not currently charge for KORA requests under 100 pages,” said Amy Waller, city clerk. “There has been no discussion of changes to the City of Gardner’s KORA policy.”
USD 231 requires written KORA requests, charges for copies, charges for staff time, requires personal identification and does not accept payment electronically. There are currently no plans to change it.
“Regarding your question on Public Records requests and fees associated with, below is a link to our current Board Policy. USD 231 Board Policies are aligned with the Kansas Association of School Boards and approved by the USD 231 School Board. At this time, no changes to the current fees are being considered at the local school district level,” said Leann Northway, USD 231 public relations officer. The link provided was http://www2.usd231.com/view/5046.pdf
Also last week a bill that would create the Kansas Transparency Act was heard by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee; HB 2562 would require that beginning in 2019, real-time audio broadcasts of all legislative committee meetings would be made, and the chambers of the Kansas House of Representatives and the Kansas Senate. In 2020, the Act would expand the requirement to include real-time video broadcasts of all such meetings. The audio and video broadcasts would also be archived and made available to the public online.
Gardner routinely videos and archives their meetings, and live streaming of the meetings began this year.
“While the recent decision to live stream has been well received by the governing body and citizens, the City of Gardner has not received any formal feedback regarding live streaming from constituents,” Waller said.
Waller said there is no ongoing cost associated with live streaming, and there is no plan to change the process in the future.
USD 231 did not currently have plans to video or live stream meetings.
“On your question regarding videotaped and/or live streaming USD 231 BOE meetings, that is a decision the board as a whole would determine,” Northway said last week.
At the BOE’s Feb. 12 meeting, Shawn Carlisle, board member, asked for board consent to form a committee to look into the cost and scope of work that would be required to record board of education meetings. The board approved.
Edgerton does not currently live stream or video meetings and questions regarding future plans were not answered by press time.