Public Records Request for Princeton Kiosk Emails Will Take an Extra Two Weeks
Planet Princeton filed a records request through the state’s Open Public Records Act on April 25 seeking emails, correspondence and documents regarding the proposal to lease the Nassau Street kiosks to the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The town clerk responded to the request yesterday, saying that the town’s email server shows that there are about 252 emails on the town server regarding the kiosks from Jan. 1 to April 25.
According to the clerk, there is no way to save the emails in an electronic format. The town’s program only allows people to view or print hard copies of the emails. The clerk said hard copies of the emails would need to be printed and then scanned as pdfs to provide them in an electronic form.
The emails total about 1,000 pages, the clerk said. The town will have to print out hard copies of every emails, and the clerk said therefore the town will need until May 16 to respond to the request.
Planet Princeton also requested emails regarding the kiosk proposal from the Borough last year. The clerk said the town does not have access to the former Borough’s server to search for records. The clerk has contacted Borough employees to see if they still have emails they can provide.
An announcement is expected to be made this afternoon that the ordinance to lease the kiosk at the corner of Nassau Street and Witherspoon Street is being tabled.
No way to save this electronic mail in an electronic format, eh?
I hope it is tabled! It was probably well-intended but I don’t consider the kiosks to need any more management than they currently have. I love them as they are. Table it, kill it, drop the idea.
It was tabled but a revised plan will be brought back to the Council by the Chamber.
Really? Wow … I find it incredible that in this day and age they do not have a better solution to provide this information and that they can no longer access information from before consolidation. I am stunned.
On the other hand, I am glad that it seems like the kiosks are going to stay as they are (at least for now).
Under NJ law, they have a requirement to keep records for specific periods of time. In this case, most likely they would be considered “Intermediate documents,”
such as non-policy-related general correspondence, internal
communications, or meeting notes. These records are generally retained
for three years, but, depending on circumstances can be retained longer. I think you should remind them of their legal retention obligations.
Thanks for the info. We looked in to this and it looks like three years is the requirement, as you said.
I guess they never heard of printing to a PDF.
This is clearly untrue. I have corresponded with the Princeton government in the last week. In their replies to me, they include the previous email I sent.
So all they would need to do is the following: For each email, they would forward it to Planet Princeton. That would be the equivalent of fulfilling the OPRA request. Alternatively, they could forward it to a gmail.com account, then save all of them from the gmail.com account, and then give them to Planet Princeton.
Either the folks at the town hall are incompetent or they are lying.
What a waste of taxpayers money to have an employee probably spend days gathering emails about a silly poster board. All the problems in the world and they are worried about a sign board. Only in Princeton.
Normally does not take days to search a server for emails. If I want to search a server on a particular topic it takes a few minutes at most. I can then highlight all the emails and hit control print and they will all be printed. The kiosks a small issue but Princeton residents care about them and to them they are symbolic of a small town community.
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