Co-op records

John Podesta filed this request with the Greater Lowell Technical High School of Tyngsborough, MA.
Tracking #

SPR17-1760

Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: John Podesta

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 between Construction Cluster Chairperson Dan Hamel and Cooperative Education Director Stacy Bezanson from January 1, 2017 to October 20, 2017.
Emails between Construction HVAC-R Instructor Jeffrey Gamache and Cooperative Education Director Stacy Bezanson from January 1, 2017 to October 20, 2017.
Group emails sent out by Math & Science cluster chairperson Carol Chisolm, specifically those with the terms "Weekly Update" sent between August 28, 2017 and October 20, 2017.

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 there are fees, 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.

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

Sincerely,

John Podesta

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

Attached is the invoice for charges relevant to your 2 requests for
specific emails from Greater Lowell. Please let us know if you plan to
submit a check for these requests.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <scanner@gltech.org>
Date: Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 3:12 PM
Subject: Message from "RNP002673BF6F61"
To: Cheryl Gosselin <cgosselin@gltech.org>

This E-mail was sent from "RNP002673BF6F61" (MP 4054).

Scan Date: 12.11.2017 15:12:40 (-0500)
Queries to: scanner@gltech.org

--

*We Strive to R.E.A.C.H.Respect - Effort - Accountability - Commitment -
Honesty*
*________________________________*
Please be advised that the Massachusetts Attorney General has determined
that email is a public record.

--

*Cheryl Gosselin*

*Confidential Secretary to the Superintendent*

*Greater Lowell Technical High School*
*978-441-4802*

--

*We Strive to R.E.A.C.H.Respect - Effort - Accountability - Commitment -
Honesty*
*________________________________*
Please be advised that the Massachusetts Attorney General has determined
that email is a public record.

From: John Podesta

Supervisor of records,

I am appealing the Greater Lowell Technical Institute’s labor estimate of 10 hours to complete two public records requests.

Seven of my requested emails contain no search terms besides a simple date range and the names of the people whose emails are being requested. This work should only take a few minutes for someone with basic knowledge of email and IT infrastructure. One of my email requests does ask for emails with a specific search term, which should further reduce the amount of time required to find them.

According to M.G.L, Chapter 66, Section 10, a municipality may not assess a fee if the time to search for, compile, segregate, redact or reproduce the record or records requested is less than four hours. I submitted two separate requests for emails, however the agency has consolidated them into one request, which I believe has contributed to the exorbitant cost, as neither request on its own should take more than four hours to complete.

Please direct the agency to respond to the requests separately, as they were filed as two separate requests.

As I mentioned, the two requests were consolidated by the agency into into one, which means that only one of the requests has actually been acknowledged, putting the agency in violation of the law stating that it may take no more than 10 business days to acknowledge a public records request. The unacknowledged request asked for the following:

Emails between Construction Cluster Chairperson Dan Hamel and HVAC-R instructor Jeffrey Gamache from June 1, 2017 to November 24, 2017.

Emails between Assistant Superintendent Jill Davis and Construction Cluster Chairperson Dan Hamel from June 1, 2017 to November 24, 2017.

Emails between Superintendent Joseph Mastrocola and Construction Cluster Chairperson Dan Hamel from June 1, 2017 to November 24, 2017.

Emails between Superintendent Joseph Mastrocola and HVAC-R instructor Jeffrey Gamache from June 1, 2017 to November 24, 2017.

Emails between Math instructor Dana DeBenedictis and Karen Jackson from September 1, 2017 to November 24, 2017.

The request that was acknowledged requested the following:

Emails between Construction Cluster Chairperson Dan Hamel and Cooperative Education Director Stacy Bezanson from January 1, 2017 to October 20, 2017.

Emails between Construction HVAC-R Instructor Jeffrey Gamache and Cooperative Education Director Stacy Bezanson from January 1, 2017 to October 20, 2017.

Group emails sent out by Math & Science cluster chairperson Carol Chisolm, specifically those with the terms "Weekly Update" sent between August 28, 2017 and October 20, 2017.

Assuming the ten hours the agency says it would take to fill the requests is split evenly between the two requests (five hours for one, and five hours for the other), I ought only be charged for two hours of work as, according to MGL Chapter 66 Sec. 10 (d)(ii) the agency is not allowed to assess a fee for the first four hours of work performed.

At the quoted rate of $19.06/hour, the most I should have to pay towards this request is $38.12.

The Massachusetts Public Records Law also states that the $0.05 fee only applies to paper records, not those that are fulfilled through electronic means. I have requested that the documents be released electronically, and barring any extraordinary circumstances, there doesn’t appear to be any reason why the request cannot be filled electronically.

Best regards,

John Podesta

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

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

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

Good Morning,

Attached please find a letter from Superintendent Mastrocola outlining the
fee required for your public record request.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <scanner@gltech.org>
Date: Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 8:43 AM
Subject: Message from "RNP002673BF6F61"
To: Cheryl Gosselin <cgosselin@gltech.org>

This E-mail was sent from "RNP002673BF6F61" (MP 4054).

Scan Date: 01.08.2018 08:43:00 (-0500)
Queries to: scanner@gltech.org

--

*We Strive to R.E.A.C.H.Respect - Effort - Accountability - Commitment -
Honesty*
*________________________________*
Please be advised that the Massachusetts Attorney General has determined
that email is a public record.

--

*Cheryl Gosselin*

*Confidential Secretary to the Superintendent*

*Greater Lowell Technical High School*
*978-441-4802*

--

*We Strive to R.E.A.C.H.Respect - Effort - Accountability - Commitment -
Honesty*
*________________________________*
Please be advised that the Massachusetts Attorney General has determined
that email is a public record.

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

Good Morning,

Attached please find a letter from Superintendent Mastrocola outlining the
fee required for your public record request.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <scanner@gltech.org>
Date: Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 8:43 AM
Subject: Message from "RNP002673BF6F61"
To: Cheryl Gosselin <cgosselin@gltech.org>

This E-mail was sent from "RNP002673BF6F61" (MP 4054).

Scan Date: 01.08.2018 08:43:08 (-0500)
Queries to: scanner@gltech.org

--

*We Strive to R.E.A.C.H.Respect - Effort - Accountability - Commitment -
Honesty*
*________________________________*
Please be advised that the Massachusetts Attorney General has determined
that email is a public record.

--

*Cheryl Gosselin*

*Confidential Secretary to the Superintendent*

*Greater Lowell Technical High School*
*978-441-4802*

--

*We Strive to R.E.A.C.H.Respect - Effort - Accountability - Commitment -
Honesty*
*________________________________*
Please be advised that the Massachusetts Attorney General has determined
that email is a public record.

From: John Podesta

Supervisor of records,

As I stated in my previous appeal, I have filed two completely separate public records requests. You have been addressing them both here, and technically have only responded to one of them in the 10 day period required. In such circumstances, the fees associated with my second request ($76.24) should be waived.

As for my second request, in order to avoid such fees, I will remove the following groups of emails from my request:

-Emails between Construction HVAC-R Instructor Jeffrey Gamache and Cooperative Education Director Stacy Bezanson from January 1, 2017 to October 20, 2017.

-Group emails sent out by Math & Science cluster chairperson Carol Chisolm, specifically those with the terms "Weekly Update" sent between August 28, 2017 and October 20, 2017.

At this point, I am only requesting emails between Construction Cluster Chairperson Dan Hamel and Cooperative Education Director Stacy Bezanson from January 1, 2017 to October 20, 2017. I expect this request to be fulfilled without fees, per your time estimate of 1.5 hours. This should be more than enough time to gather such emails.

Respectfully submitted,

John Podesta

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

Mr. Podesta-

Would you like your email below to be consider an appeal?

All the Best,

Greg Stewart

From: John Podesta

That is correct, Thank you

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

​Mr. Podesta,

Attached is a letter from Superintendent Mastrocola as well as requested
emails per your request dated January 8, 2018.​

--

*Cheryl Gosselin*

*Confidential Secretary to the Superintendent*

*Greater Lowell Technical High School*
*978-441-4802*

--

*We Strive to R.E.A.C.H.Respect - Effort - Accountability - Commitment -
Honesty*
*________________________________*
Please be advised that the Massachusetts Attorney General has determined
that email is a public record.

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

Good Morning Mr. Podesta-

Do you have a phone number I can reach you at? I would like to briefly talk to you about your fee waiver request. Thank you very much.

All the Best,

Greg Stewart

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

Hello,

Please be aware, the Supervisor of Records determination in which you were involved is now available on the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website at: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/AppealsWeb/AppealsStatus.aspx.

If you have any questions, please contact the Public Records Division at 617-727-2832 or pre@sec.state.ma.us<mailto:pre@sec.state.ma.us>.

Thank you,

Gregory B. Stewart
Public Records Division
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-2832 (office)
(617) 727-5914 (fax)

From: John Podesta

Unfortunately due to my schedule I'm not available during regular business hours. I would be more than happy to email you about my request, and answer any questions you may have.

Thank you
John Podesta

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

Hello,

Please be aware, the Supervisor of Records determination in which you were involved is now available on the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website at: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/AppealsWeb/AppealsStatus.aspx.

If you have any questions, please contact the Public Records Division at 617-727-2832 or pre@sec.state.ma.us<mailto:pre@sec.state.ma.us>.

Thank you,

Gregory B. Stewart
Public Records Division
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-2832 (office)
(617) 727-5914 (fax)

From: Greater Lowell Technical High School

Mr. Podesta,

I am writing in regards to the above mentioned appeal as our office was notified that a response was provided to you by the City of Lowell Law Department as required by the determination letter issued for your appeal. I am also writing to remind you that should you require further assistance to please be sure to email the division directly at pre@sec.state.ma.us<mailto:pre@sec.state.ma.us> and note your appeals information above, what you are specifically taking issue with and that you'd like a new appeal to address that matter.

Most sincerely,
Angela M. Puccini, Esq.
Staff Attorney
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Public Records Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-2832 (office)
(617) 727-5914 (fax)
http://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/preidx.htm
A Guide to Public Records Law: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/prepdf/guide.pdf
Review appeal determinations online: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/appealsweb/appealsstatus.aspx

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