The Norman Transcript

Government

April 15, 2013

Creating more transparency has snags

(Continued)

NORMAN —

While the city’s system filters most spam before it ever hits the server, under the current resolution, whatever junk mail gets through and onto the server will be archived along with everything else.

Incoming emails from residents are subject to open records: That archiving includes all correspondence from residents to city council members or city staff.

Knighton said many people may not realize any email a person sends to city staff or members of city council is subject to open record requests by the public. That includes brief emails from family members, complaints from the public and any junk email that makes it through the filtering process.

All of that mail — relevant records and otherwise — adds up over the course of a year and Madden said buying cyber storage space will continue to be a need every few years, unless the city council clarifies its intentions and modifies the resolution.

“How do you define the term ‘record’?” Knighton said. “The server saves everything.”

Solutions include giving the user choices on what should be saved, shortening the time frame that messages are kept to less than a year or buying cyber storage space.

“From the staff perspective, we don’t care which one of those they select,” Knighton said. “We are keeping a bunch of junk, and over time, you will probably see requests for appropriations from staff.”

Right now, if Knighton receives an unsolicited email, he cannot keep it from going into the archive to be stored for a year.

“Although I have the ability to delete what’s on the active server, nobody has the ability to delete anything from the archive,” he said.

Kovach said that is the price of making sure everything that should be saved under the law is saved.

“I was told not long after we passed it that there might need to be some clarification of what our intent was,” Kovach said. “Tulsa is going through something like this, and they are going to shorten the length.”

While the problem is not unique to Norman, Kovach doesn’t like Tulsa’s solution. He thinks a $16,000 investment to purchase storage space that will last five to seven years is not a huge investment to make to protect the public’s interest.

Joy Hampton

366-3539

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Shelter construction ongoing; residents voice concerns

    A regular quarterly meeting of the Animal Shelter Oversight Board prompted Norman residents to speak up about more than just a photo release issue Monday night involving Friends of the Animals of Norman volunteers and the city of Norman. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline is Friday

    Friday is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Races include federal, state and county offices, but for Cleveland County voters, the field is limited....

    July 30, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014