Thursday, April 22, 2010

KPA appeals over denial of Midway budget

The Kentucky Press Association has appealed to the state Attorney General's office the refusal of Midway Mayor Tom Bozarth to release copies of the city's proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

The Midway City Council is scheduled to discuss the budget proposal on Monday. The Midway Messenger had asked in writing for a copy after Bozarth gave it to council members. Bozarth refused, saying the budget was "purely preliminary" and wouldn't be released until the council has finalized it. The Messenger is a blog and website run by Professor Al Cross at the University of Kentucky's Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues as an outlet for stories written by students in his community journalism classes.

In its appeal, the KPA argued that exemptions to the Kentucky Open Records Act relating to drafts and recommendations were limited.

"Our position is that it ceases to fit that phrase ("preliminary") once it is distributed to and discussed by members of a public agency at a public meeting. After all, a budget is the basic policy document for a government," the KPA said.

Midway is located in northern Woodford County, halfway between Lexington and Frankfort. For the Messenger story and a link to the appeal, go here.

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