Marana denies e-mails request; says can't justify staff time drain - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Marana denies e-mails request; says can't justify staff time drain

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Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:17 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Marana town government has denied a request from resident Phyllis Farenga to provide her with e-mails generated by town council members and specific town employees that contain 23 specific key words or phrases tied to a proposed landfill.

In a May 3 letter, Cedric Hay, senior assistant town attorney, said Farenga's request would affect 1,700 e-mails.

"The town has provided you with many requested e-mails, attachments and various other documents on a regular basis," Hay wrote. "However, the amount of data included in this request is so large that the town cannot justify the drain on staff time and resources which would be required to collect and process data of this magnitude."

Farenga told the town council on May 4 the identification of more than 1,700 e-mails containing words she tagged is an indicator "you have been very busy e-mailing one another about the dump, Racy and Henk." Michael Racy is representing DKL Holdings and its principal, Larry Henk, in the pursuit of permissions to develop a commercial landfill on land currently west of the town limits.

"My request is that you comply with the law and take the time and protect the public interest with this e-mail request," Farenga said.

Three members of the council told Farenga they have generated no e-mail about the landfill.

"I have not written one, don't hold me to that, I haven't written two to anyone about the landfill," Councilwoman Roxanne Ziegler said. "Please pull mine," she said to town staff, "because it won't take long."

"I can second that," Councilwoman Patti Comerford said. "Every letter I've gotten has been from the public, easily more than 100 e-mails … and not one I know of from the staff or anyone else."

"I have zero," Councilwoman Carol McGorray said.

"Staff will continue to look at this," Town Manager Gilbert Davidson told the council. "Broad phrases" such as "easement" will "generate large volumes" of e-mail. "There has been very little generated by any one council member about the landfill, he said.

Davidson is sensitive about releasing e-mails that may contain protected information such as individual Social Security numbers. "We are complying with all regulations," Davidson said. "We have to verify before we distribute an e-mail that may have someone's private information on it."

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