July 5, 2012
CEDAR HILLS – On June 15, 2012, the Utah State Records Committee heard an appeal from Mr. Ken Cromar requesting that the City of Cedar Hills provide him with all Mayor and Councilmember emails from 2011 to the present. The City had previously agreed to provide all emails within its possession, but, consistent with Utah State Code, was requesting prepayment for the search and compilation of this request. The Committee determined that because the requested emails are not normally kept in the format being requested, the City can charge for search and compilation of the emails and require a prepayment for requests, like Mr. Cromar’s, estimated to exceed $50 to fulfill.
At issue was whether the City was required to provide Mr. Cromar with emails it did not have because they are on the personal email accounts of former Councilmembers. At the hearing, the Committee noted that this is an area that has not been addressed by the Utah Legislature. The Committee ruled that records requests can include emails about City business on personal email accounts and directed the City to provide such emails. After Mr. Cromar submitted his request, he later amended it. His amended request asserts that he should be exempt from paying the actual cost to fulfill his request, as generally required by State law, because he claims it benefits the public. This argument was not before the Records Committee on June 15. However, the City has denied this exemption as his request will take several hours to complete. “This has never been about our willingness to provide emails to Mr. Cromar,” stated David Bunker, acting City Manager. “We had already agreed to provide him with all emails we have. However, it is only fair to our residents that Mr. Cromar pay for the work this request will take.” Once prepayment is received the City will process this request and provide the requested emails in its possession to Mr. Cromar. The full report from the Utah State Records Committee can be viewed on the City’s website at www.cedarhills.org.