Something Smells at the State House

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheWiredJournal. Show TheWiredJournal's posts

    Something Smells at the State House

    Why are the people being denied access to what should be public information? The state of Massachusetts is denying its citizens access to public records. What they are hiding? I was recently researching some issues in which I was not having much luck getting information I needed and thought relevant online through various data bases and government websites, thus I figured the statehouse library would perhaps be an excellent place to look as I’ve heard that the State Library of Massachusetts has a comprehensive repository of state documents and other historical items and the most complete collection of Massachusetts government documents and municipal reports in existence along with a selective depository of Federal documents. This I thought would be an invaluable aid and help with my research work.

    Now herein lays the problem: The State Library is not a privately funded or run library, it is a part of the state government and funded by taxpayer’s dollars and should be available to the general public under the freedom of information act. One would think anyway. Yet I was denied a library card and access to these records and documents which cannot be accessed without a State Library Card. I was told that I must be a state employee in order to obtain a State library card. I do not think this is fair and is a violation of federal laws and the freedom of the Freedom of Information Act along with the Massachusetts Public Records Law which parallels federal law,

     

    To me this is not only illegal but goes far beyond just being a bad policy and when considering all the corruption within the state legislature and recent convictions of the three house speakers, all of which happen to be democrats, on charges of corruption raises serious red flags and make me wonder what they are trying to hide.  

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from DamainAllen. Show DamainAllen's posts

    Re: Something Smells at the State House

    You should be able to utlize the resources the libray has on site, you simply won't be allowed to borrow anything, which seems fair considering many of the items are not replaceable or have historical significance.  Some items they will not release to general public, but that doesn't mean they are hiding anything, items that are one of a kind can't be replaced so I don't have a problem with that.  

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheWiredJournal. Show TheWiredJournal's posts

    Re: Something Smells at the State House

    In response to WhatDoYouWantNow's comment:

     

    You can also try requesting information through the MA public records act. Denials are more common than grants, of course.... 

     



     

    WDYWN,

     

    I ran into a similar issue about a year ago, but under a different circumstance.

    I’m a trade’s man (a carpenter) and while looking for work. I thought of the States Central register which lists most of the planned construction projects throughout the state by the various cities and towns and state agencies.

    It used to be available for viewing at my local library in hard copy but not anymore, and is all on line now but no longer available at the library.

    When I contacted the Secretary of the Commonwealths office. I was told I need to pay a fee and subscribe to it. Which I did not have and could not afford at the time.

    I only wanted to find leads on potential job opportunities that would help me get back on my feet.

    I just find it an outrage that the state has the gall to charge for something like that and does not allow access to it online which would cost the state little to nothing. It’s just not right… 

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Something Smells at the State House

    So, file a FOIA request.  People do it all the time.

     

    Did they give a reason for denying you "access"?

     

    And what is "illegal" about this, exactly?  If you have a case, then sue.

     

     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Something Smells at the State House

    In response to TheWiredJournal's comment:

    I just find it an outrage that the state has the gall to charge for something like that and does not allow access to it online which would cost the state little to nothing. It’s just not right… 



    Records- and database-keeping costs money.

    That you've taken it personally is a reflection on you, not them.

     

     

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Something Smells at the State House

    In response to WhatDoYouWantNow's comment:

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    So, file a FOIA request.  People do it all the time.

     



    For anything like that, for state documents, I'd try the state public records law first.

     

     

    A denial can be appealed at least once i think. Either way, it's wayyyyyy faster than FOIA.

    [/QUOTE]

    Good to know.  Thanks.

     

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheWiredJournal. Show TheWiredJournal's posts

    Re: Something Smells at the State House

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

     

    In response to TheWiredJournal's comment:

     

     

     

    I just find it an outrage that the state has the gall to charge for something like that and does not allow access to it online which would cost the state little to nothing. It’s just not right… 

     

     



    Records- and database-keeping costs money.

     

     

    That you've taken it personally is a reflection on you, not them.

     

     

     



    Matty,

     

    While things like this may pee me off it's not about me taking it personally. Where are all the tax payers dollars going? This is about transparency, the fact that the hard copies were discontinued and no longer sent out to all the cities and towns libraries is a major savings of taxpayer dollars in itself and leaves pleanty in the till for providing this sort of information to the public free of charge online, let alone the fact that by provideing this info (eg. The Central register and others like the Goods and services bulletin) it also helps and gives small bussiness's who are already struggling and are over taxed, and overburdened by the waste, by the state a better chance to succeed and grow, which also inturn helps our local economy ...etc etc. There are many reasons why this type of info should be available to the citizens. 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Something Smells at the State House

    In response to TheWiredJournal's comment:

     

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

     

    In response to TheWiredJournal's comment:

     

     

     

    I just find it an outrage that the state has the gall to charge for something like that and does not allow access to it online which would cost the state little to nothing. It’s just not right… 

     

     



    Records- and database-keeping costs money.

     

     

    That you've taken it personally is a reflection on you, not them.

     

     

     



    Matty,

     

    While things like this may pee me off it's not about me taking it personally. Where are all the tax payers dollars going? This is about transparency, the fact that the hard copies were discontinued and no longer sent out to all the cities and towns libraries is a major savings of taxpayer dollars in itself and leaves pleanty in the till for providing this sort of information to the public free of charge online, let alone the fact that by provideing this info (eg. The Central register and others like the Goods and services bulletin) it also helps and gives small bussiness's who are already struggling and are over taxed, and overburdened by the waste, by the state a better chance to succeed and grow, which also inturn helps our local economy ...etc etc. There are many reasons why this type of info should be available to the citizens. 

     



    Putting aside the issue of permitting access for a moment...

     

    It's specious to think that just because they stopped sending out hard copies of certain info that putting them online is any less expensive or time-consuming, short-term.

    As a professional who's worked in IT for a long time, I can tell you for certain that is not always, if ever, the case.  Heck, libraries are an endangered public service to begin with.

    Many govt agencies have eliminated their paperwork in such a way that any savings are distributed over the life of the info systems.

    And if I'm not mistaken, a small business or proprietorship can deduct the fee for obtaining such info as a business expense.  Otherwise, it's case of businesses wanting something for nothing.

    How much is this fee, anyhow...?  What's the ROI...?  If it's so worth the expense, then what's the problem?

    Some businesses are struggling because they're not selling anything that people want to buy.  That's not all govt's fault.

     

     

     

     

     
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