Facing a tax levy election in a down economy, Gila Community College board chairman Bob Ashford has reversed the college’s ban on releasing electronic records.
Thursday, he assured members of the media that they would receive whatever information they needed, including spreadsheets.
“Of course, they can paint whatever picture they want to,” he said.
Trena Grantham, GCC public relations coordinator, said previously the college worried people would change figures in an electronic document and present them as fact.
Earlier this year, GCC refused to provide electronic copies of the FY 2010 budget to the Roundup’s editorial staff. The advertising department received a copy so the budget could be published to fulfill a legal requirement.
“We do not reproduce public records for a ‘public records request’ electronically for anyone, again, no exceptions,” wrote Grantham.
Although GCC had until then accepted e-mailed requests for information, and several times e-mailed requested documents, Grantham in August informed the Roundup that GCC would only use the postal service.
She acknowledged the college had no formal public records request policy, and that it followed state statute. State law does not address electronic records.
Ashford did not return a phone call seeking clarification about this new records request procedure.