New BA school superintendent waives search fee for copies of district's itemized legal bills
“Only Ms. Snellgrove knows her true motives for making the open records act request," he told the reporter.
The reporter noted that Jim Sisney, who was dismissed as superintendent by the Broken Arrow Board of Education in 2008, is the superintendent of Sperry Public Schools.
Ms. Snellgrove’s husband’s job for another school district would have no bearing on her status as a taxpayer and parent of children in Broken Arrow schools in making sure that district officials “are honestly, faithfully, and competently performing their duties as public servants.”
I asked Mr. Gerber twice if he considered the release of the itemized legal bills to be in the public interest. He wouldn’t answer the question. To say it’s not in the public interest would be idiotic and reveal him to be a petty bureaucrat. To say it is would be acknowledging that he couldn’t charge the search fee.
Mr. Gerber’s comments indicate he is charging the search fee because he has a personal grudge against Ms. Snellgrove rather than legitimate reasons under the state Open Records law.
Mr. Gerber’s response to this request leave me wondering how other people are treated when they ask the Broken Arrow school district for information that belongs to them – the public.
By waiving the fee, Mendenhall has taken a step in the right direction on what I suspect will be a long road to true transparency for Broken Arrow public schools.
Joey Senat, Ph.D.
OSU School of Media and Strategic Communication