Whittier Daily News reporter Bethania Palma Markus told me a neat little story today (it was surprisingly not cat/kitten related*).
In our continued effort to give a broad look at city employee salaries, I am writing a piece on City Clerk salaries that you can look for this weekend.
Bethania was helping me out by giving a quick call over to Montebello to check for their Deputy City Clerk’s salary.
But she ran into some resistance.
She called and spoke with Janina Medrano and requested, verbally, the salary for the Deputy City Clerk. Medrano said Bethania had to submit a public records request for the information. When Bethania tried to explain that a verbal request constitutes a formal request and the information should be readily available, Medrano said city policy dictates all requests must be in writing.
Bethania said she would speak to the city attorney regarding that policy. Medrano then quickly said goodbye and hung up the phone.
Transparency at its finest.
*Bethania Palma Markus loves cats/kittens and reminds us of their charm and beauty whenever she can.
UPDATE: Just got this from Bethania.
“Hi Daniel, so as I said I spoke with Montebello City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman about the public records request policy and this is what he said:
There is no written policy regarding the obligation to put public records act requests in writing, however it’s been the practice of the city to request that the public record act requests be put in writing
-To document the request
-To respond in a timely fashion
-To make sure records are disclosable.
“It’s been a practice of the city which is currently under review and evaluation,” he said.