Why is extra security needed at City Hall?

Published 7:12 pm Friday, August 6, 2010

To the editor:

Reading this past Wednesday morning’s Suffolk News-Herald, I was surprised to find out that our employees at City Hall needed security.

Has there been a security problem in the past? I cannot remember any terrorist attack or threat in the past 30 years. How much will this cost us taxpayers? Is this to keep we who pay their salaries from visiting City Hall to find out what is going on?

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Next, an article in the Virginian-Pilot that the cost of a Freedom of Information request will cost you an arm and leg surprised me. I cannot understand the exorbitant cost to individuals for readily available information requests.

We pay the salaries of these people. We bought the buildings, the paper and the copy machine.

Why do we pay someone $68,810 to use a copy machine? Couldn’t we hire a high school student part-time to run the copy machine?

Did the City Council approve all of these additional charges to the public for information or was this a bureaucratic decision made in-house by non-elected personnel?

I have received information under the Freedom of Information Act in the past at no cost. These requests were prompt, complete, factual and free. This new city policy of discouraging the free and open City Government information is a slap in the face to all concerned citizens of Suffolk.

William H. Harward