* I guess I should do a question before I return to my sick bed.
The setup, from the Tribune…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has denied requests for public records that might shed light on his decisions to raise vehicle fees and water rates and to legalize speeding camera tickets that could hit drivers with $100 fines.
It’s the latest in a pattern of records denials from the mayor, who proclaimed a new commitment to transparency at City Hall under his leadership.
After Emanuel this fall proposed a series of fee increases to help balance his budget, the Tribune filed requests for any internal City Hall documents to show how Emanuel came up with his plans to charge homeowners and drivers more, including emails, memos and any relevant contacts with outside companies or interests.
To date, the only internal document provided by the city is a PowerPoint demonstration on the need for water rate hikes, which consists mostly of background on the city’s water system. Some slides were removed by the city, which cited a broad exemption for “deliberative materials” under the Freedom of Information Act.
Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew said the city identified about 1,300 relevant emails each for the speed camera and water rate issues, and about 700 emails relevant to the vehicle sticker increases. But the Emanuel administration refused to produce them on the grounds that it would be too much trouble to remove any opinions or deliberations that they say they are allowed to withhold from the public under state law.
* The Question: Was Mayor Emanuel right to reject this FOIA request? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.