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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Betsy Combier Asks FOIL Officer Joe BaranelloTo Clarify the Fees of $29.95/hr For F11,129

I decided that I should clarify with Records Access Officer Joe Baranello exactly what I would pay for, and who I would be hiring, (at $29.95/hr) in order to obtain the secret rules handed out at the Plenary meeting for the DOE/NYSUT/UFT folk who represent members at 3020-a:

Joe Baranello
Dear Mr. Baranello,

I am responding to your email dated March 25, 2015 in which you stated I must pay $29.95 for the preparation of digital records above two hours that relate to my request in F11,129. See my post on my blog:

Betsy Combier Files a Freedom of Information Request to Obtain the Information Given Out At The NYC DOE February 24, 2015 Secret Meeting on 3020-a Hearings

You ask what the maximum amount is that I am willing to pay to the person you hire to prepare these records and for the storage media.

 I need more information in order to give you my response:

1. I need to know the number of records responsive to my request and the amount you charge to me for full access before I decide what I am willing to pay. 

2. I also need to know exactly what records you will charge me for - emails? agenda? invitees? This meeting included several groups, NYSUT/UFT, DOE, and Arbitrators , therefore this meeting was not only for Department of Education employees. What redactions are relevant to Public Officer's Law 87? Please be specific. I also understand that you can charge me 25 cents for each page - do you add the $29.95/hr to this, and where are you authorized within the Law to do this, if you charge the $29.95/hr in addition to the $.25/page?
3. I need to know who the person is who will be paid by me at $29.95/hour. Please give
me this person's full name, job title, and daily duties. I also need to know whether or not there is any person willing to do those same duties at $8/, or $9/hr, and whether you sought to find any such individual, and where you posted the job description.

4. In your demand that I pay for the cost of storage media, please describe exactly what you mean by this. What is the "storage media" that I have to pay for? Please give any and all details.

5. Please describe to me what costs are involved in reproducing records that are maintained electronically.  

6. Please tell me why I have to pay a person $29.95 to forward electronic documents via email to me, as you no doubt have people on staff who are already being paid to assist you in granting FOIL requests.

7. Please describe what "internal communications" you refer to, as the February 24, 2015 meeting was not a meeting of DOE employees, but also UFT, NYSUT, and arbitration panel members.

 Please take note that I am willing to pay for the records of the meeting held by your colleague Courtenaye Jackson-Chase at Tweed at 4PM of February 24, 2015 and that I intend on writing the Committee on Open Government to ask for an opinion. I advise you not to close this request, I am simply asking questions to clarify your very vague response.

 Please reply to this email in its entirety no later than 5PM on friday, April 17, 2015, so that I can receive all the documents/emails/powerpoint/video/presentations on or before April 22, 2015.

 Thank you for your prompt response.


Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials