Mayor's Emails Regarding Boston 2024

Emily Hopkins filed this request with the Mayor's Office of Boston, MA.
Tracking # 15-463
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Emily Hopkins

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

Emails to or from Mayor Martin Walsh containing any of the following phrases from the year 2009 to the present: "Boston 2024"; "Olympics"; "Olympic games"; "International Olympic Committee"; "IOC"; "United States Olympic Committee"; or "USOC."

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Emily Hopkins

From: George Bahnan

Dear Ms. Hopkins:

I am writing to inform you that the Law Department has received your
request for public records dated December 20, 2014. As your request
concerns the communications of individuals from multiple City Departments,
we are still in the process of reviewing all responsive documents and will
need to determine whether any of the responsive documents will be exempt
under the applicable provisions of the Massachusetts Public Records Law as
well as an estimate for the total cost.

If you wish to modify your request please notify me promptly in writing. Thank
you for your attention to this matter.
--
George T. Bahnan
Paralegal
Law Department
City Hall, Room 615
Pho: (617) 635-2902
Fax: (617) 635-2012
George.Bahnan@boston.gov

From: Emily Hopkins

Hi Mr. Bahnan,

I just wanted to follow up in regards to this request.

Thank you,

Emily

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Dec. 20, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: George Bahnan

Dear Ms. Hopkins:

This email is in response to your December 20, 2014 Public Records request
for "Emails to or from Mayor Martin Walsh containing any of the following
phrases from the year 2009 to the present: "Boston 2024"; "Olympics"; "
Olympic games"; "InternationalOlympic Committee"; "IOC"; "United States
Olympic Committee"; or "USOC."

Attached you will find the documents that are responsive to your
request. These are all the documents in the City's possession responsive to
your request. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any
questions.
--
George T. Bahnan
Paralegal
Law Department
City Hall, Room 615
Pho: (617) 635-2902
Fax: (617) 635-2012
George.Bahnan@boston.gov

From: Emily Hopkins

Hi George,

Thanks for providing these documents. Unfortunately they do not fulfill my request. Is there any timeline you could provide for the release of the documents I asked for?

Best,
Emily

From: Emily Hopkins

Hi George,

I just wanted to reiterate that these are not the documents that I requested and to inquire when I might receive the items I've ask for.

Best,
Emily

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Dec. 20, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: George Bahnan

Dear Ms. Hopkins,

It has come to our attention that an attachment was left off of the City's
original response. Please find emails between the City and Boston 2024
attached.

Thank you.
--
George T. Bahnan
Paralegal
Law Department
City Hall, Room 615
Pho: (617) 635-2902
Fax: (617) 635-2012
George.Bahnan@boston.gov

From: Emily Hopkins

Hi George,

Thank you so much for your follow up. Unfortunately, these still do not fulfill my original request. Is there a timeline for when my original request might be fulfilled? I understand that you have a number of similar requests and that this may take some time, but I'd like to know an estimate at the very least.

Emily

From: Emily Hopkins

Hi George,

With all due respect, I am appealing your decision to withhold the emails that I requested nearly three months ago. Please advise as to when I can expect the fulfillment of my original request.

Emily Hopkins

From: Emily Hopkins

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an appeal of the apparent refusal by the City of Boston to provide in full the records below requested of the Mayor’s Office. This request, which was sent by email to the Mayor’s Office on December 20, 2014, seeks:

Emails to or from Mayor Martin Walsh containing any of the following phrases from the year 2009 to the present: "Boston 2024"; "Olympics"; "Olympic games"; "International Olympic Committee"; "IOC"; "United States Olympic Committee"; or "USOC.”

After I made my request on December 20, 2014, I received only one communication from the Mayor’s Office (an acknowledgement of my request) until February 4, 2015, when I received a set of documents relating to the insurance policy related to the Olympics.

While these documents are interesting in their own right, they do not pertain to my specific request because they are not emails. I followed up a few times over the following month with no response until March 3, when a packet titled “Boston2024 emails” with the following message:

It has come to our attention that an attachment was left off of the City's original response. Please find emails between the City and Boston 2024 attached.

The packet contains 45 pages of emails and other materials, among them: a draft of remarks that the Mayor would make to the USOC in California; a service request from a “senior citizen who is extremely happy to see the possibility of the olympics [sic] coming to Boston” attached to an email forwarded to Boston 2024’s Erin Murphy; another forwarded service request comment saying that the caller “would love to see the olympics [sic] come to Boston”; and a lengthy email exchange between the Boston 2024 and the City regarding a citizen who was extremely eager to help bring the Olympics to Boston. The packet also contained a lengthy Boston Teachers Union newsletter that had been forwarded to Daniel Koh by John Fish because the it contained displeasure over the fact that Boston 2024's plans involved the demolition of a BTU building.

This packet, an attachment which the City of Boston stated they’d “left off of the City’s original response,” according to the timestamp on the pages, had not even been printed out until nearly two weeks after their original response.

Of the 45 pages, 11 of them are the draft of the statement to be delivered by Mayor Walsh to the USOC in December, and another 11 are the pages of the BTU’s newsletter. If we removed these two large attachments, that leaves 23 pages of communications pertaining to the 2024 Olympics sent to or from the Mayor’s Office since 2009.

For further context: On December 16, 2014, Mayor Martin Walsh traveled to California to speak on behalf of Boston to the USOC in the hopes that the they would choose Boston to represent the United States in the bid for the 2024 Olympics. Almost a year prior, Boston 2024 was formed out of a number of private business owners to help push for the Olympics in Boston. In November, the members of the USOC met with members of Boston 2024 and Mayor Marty Walsh. Are we to believe that Mayor Walsh received no communications about that visit, or that his office prepared without using email at all? Furthermore, I would assume that Marty Walsh would have been prepped or consulted in some way before delivering his address in California.

All this is to say: Even if we are to assume that these emails were collected from a shorter timespan than in my request, considering the amount of time and work that both the City of Boston and Boston 2024 continue to tell the public went into this bid, I find that number suspiciously low.

In light of the above facts and because the transparency surrounding Boston’s Olympic bid is of the highest degree of public interest, I urge the City to review and do its due diligence in regards to the search and fulfillment of my original request.

Respectfully,
Emily Hopkins

From: Mayor's Office

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: George Bahnan

Dear Ms. Hopkins:

This email is in response to your June 5, 2015 Public Records Appeal for
“Emails to or from Mayor Martin Walsh containing any of the following
phrases from the year 2009 to the present: "Boston 2024"; "Olympics";
"Olympic games"; "International Olympic Committee"; "IOC''; "United States
Olympic Committee"; or "USOC.”

Attached you will find the documents that are responsive to your request.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.
--
George T. Bahnan
Paralegal
Law Department
City Hall, Room 615
Pho: (617) 635-2902
Fax: (617) 635-2012
George.Bahnan@boston.gov

From: Mayor's Office

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Dec. 20, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #15-463.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Dec. 20, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #15-463.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: George Bahnan

Good Morning,

I believe this request been completed. Thank you.
--
George T. Bahnan
Paralegal
Law Department
City Hall, Room 615
Pho: (617) 635-2902
Fax: (617) 635-2012
George.Bahnan@boston.gov

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