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EVA O’KEEFE, San Clemente
Legislation enacting the California Public Records Act (CPRA) was signed in
1968, culminating a 15-year-long effort to create a general records law for California.
The fundamental idea of the law is that, “Access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.”
Most of the reasons for withholding information from a CPRA records request is very specific and is spelled out in the legislation.
The public has been requesting documents of the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) because it hasn’t been transparent with its information. The records requests ask for information to find where they are in the toll road process, how they spend their money on directors and consultants, to make sure the agency is acting within the law and its charter and other items. Most recently, the public has asked about the geological findings for route 14 through the center of San Clemente.
But the public never gets all the information because the TCA seems to think that they are above the law and simply ignore these records requests. Dozens of requests to the TCA have gone unanswered. Some requests are over three months old.
A formal complaint has been made with District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and TCA board members Brian Maryott and Kathy Ward.
The TCA may have their consultants spin their business practices as “transparent,” but the public gets to make that determination on its own. TCA, fulfill your civic duty and comply with the CPRA requests.