Propy emails

Brian Waters filed this request with the Agency Of Commerce And Community Development of Vermont.
Status
Completed
Tags

Communications

From: Brian Waters

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Vermont Public Records Act, I am requesting emails regarding the state's relationship with Propy, a California-based real estate and "blockchain" startup.

Specifically, I am requesting all emails sent to, from, or between ACCD employees or officials in 2017 or 2018, containing any of the following keywords (please make sure to search both the subject field as well as the emails themselves):
Propy
propy.com
blockchain
block chain
Natalia
Karayaneva
Ethereum
ether

Additionally, I am requesting all email correspondence between Propy and ACCD in 2017 or 2018. Specifically, I am requesting all emails containing "@propy.com" in any of the following fields:
To
From
Cc
Bcc

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

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 if available or CD-ROM if not.

I understand this request may take some time to process. In that case, I would be appreciative of a timely acknowledgement, so that I know ACCD office has received this request and is working on fulfilling it.

Sincerely,
Brian Waters,
Burlington, Vermont

From: Agency Of Commerce And Community Development

Brian
ACCD Secretary Michael Schirling forwarded your Public records Act
request to me Monday morning and I have been collecting from our staff all records responsive to your request.
By way of update, I have 263 pages of correspondence records so far and understand there to be a few dozen yet to come to me. I expect the total to be roughly 300 pages.
Attached is the Secretary of State's Fee Schedule that state agencies follow when responding to requests. We have exceeded the initial free-of-charge 30 minutes in our searching, printing and scanning. However, as you wisely requested, I will provide an estimate of the cost in completing our response and begin with the next stage of our effort - my review of all the records for any of the statutory exceptions to public disclosure listed in 1 VSA 317(c).
Taking 300 pages as the count for purposes of providing an estimate, I know form many years of experience that I need between 1-3 minutes per page to review and determine if an exception applies, and whether to redact or withhold the record. In some cases, I need to consult the Governor's Office for decisions on questions of executive privilege (which only the Governor can assert), and in others the Attorney General's Office for interpretation of the application of any exceptions to be sure as a State we apply them consistently across all state agencies. That said, my initial impression is that the email correspondence I have been given is not loaded with sensitive information and will likely require closer to the one minute/page average to examine. Accordingly, at that rate, I would need roughly 300 minutes, which at $.57/minute, would lead to a charge of $171.00.
I suspect from my cursory viewing of the records that the somewhat
generic search terms in your request have yielded a number of records that make only passing reference to the term blockchain. Should you wish to revise your request to limit the scope to a more specific term, date, or person(s), I believe the number of pages needing my review would be substantially reduced.
Unfortunately, our agency and I understand most or all of state government is experiencing a major network interruption today, so staff are unable to send me their remaining records responsive to your request. Indeed, I understand that as I write this message, it will not be capable of transmission for some time. Nevertheless, please contact me upon receipt to discuss how I should proceed.

Thank you.
JK


John W. Kessler
General Counsel
Agency of Commerce and Community Development
National Life Bldg., 6th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05620
(802) 828-5202
Parking at National
Life<http://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accd/files/Documents/accd/NL_Campus%20Parking_Map.pdf>

NOTE: My new email address is john.kessler@vermont.gov

From: Brian Waters

Hi John,

Thanks for the speedy reply for for all the digging that the staff has done thus far. Given the blockchain legislation that has gone into effect recently, and that I'm only interested in emails regarding the California-based company "Propy," I'd guess the keywords causing the false positives are:
blockchain
block chain
Ethereum
ether

If you think that removing those keywords from my search would significantly limit the scope of my request, please let me know what you think the new fees would be, and we can move forward from there.

Again, thanks for the help.
Brian Waters
Burlington, VT

P.S, If you see director Schirling, please apologize for any superfluous auto-generated followups that might have been directed to him.

From: Agency Of Commerce And Community Development

----- Original message -----
From: "Kessler, John" <John.Kessler@vermont.gov>
To: Brian Waters
Subject: RE: Blockchain Records
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2018 13:03:30 +0000

Brian

Your revision makes sense from what you're interested in. From my first look at the emails, I think there are many related to the movement of the Vermont legislation through the process last year. I have scanned copies of the records and will search them for:

Propy
Natalia
Karayaneva

I should be able to do that today and get back to you with an update. I understand us to have one more person to send me responsive records, but they will not be very many. He administers our employment training program and believes he has emails related to a business providing training related to blockchain, but we'll see when he gets in. He's "in the field" this morning, so I'll close that loop when he is back.

JK

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Waters
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2018 6:23 PM
To: Kessler, John <John.Kessler@vermont.gov>
Subject: Re: Blockchain Records

Hi John,

Thanks for the speedy reply for for all the digging that the staff has done thus far. Given the blockchain legislation that has gone into effect recently, and that I'm only interested in emails regarding the California-based company "Propy," I'd guess the keywords causing the false positives are:
blockchain
block chain
Ethereum
ether

If you think that removing those keywords from my search would significantly limit the scope of my request, please let me know what you think the new fees would be, and we can move forward from there.

Again, thanks for the help.
Brian Waters
Burlington, VT

P.S, If you see director Schirling, please apologize for any superfluous auto-generated followups that might have been directed to him.

On Wed, Aug 8, 2018, at 2:40 PM, Kessler, John wrote:
> Brian
>
> ACCD Secretary Michael Schirling forwarded your Public records Act
> request to me Monday morning and I have been collecting from our staff
> all records responsive to your request.
>
> By way of update, I have 263 pages of correspondence records so far
> and understand there to be a few dozen yet to come to me. I expect
> the total to be roughly 300 pages.
>
> Attached is the Secretary of State's Fee Schedule that state agencies
> follow when responding to requests. We have exceeded the initial
> free- of-charge 30 minutes in our searching, printing and scanning.
> However, as you wisely requested, I will provide an estimate of the
> cost in completing our response and begin with the next stage of our
> effort - my review of all the records for any of the statutory
> exceptions to public disclosure listed in 1 VSA 317(c).
>
> Taking 300 pages as the count for purposes of providing an estimate, I
> know form many years of experience that I need between 1-3 minutes per
> page to review and determine if an exception applies, and whether to
> redact or withhold the record. In some cases, I need to consult the
> Governor's Office for decisions on questions of executive privilege
> (which only the Governor can assert), and in others the Attorney
> General's Office for interpretation of the application of any
> exceptions to be sure as a State we apply them consistently across all
> state agencies. That said, my initial impression is that the email
> correspondence I have been given is not loaded with sensitive
> information and will likely require closer to the one minute/page
> average to examine. Accordingly, at that rate, I would need roughly
> 300 minutes, which at $.57/minute, would lead to a charge of $171.00.
>
> I suspect from my cursory viewing of the records that the somewhat
> generic search terms in your request have yielded a number of records
> that make only passing reference to the term blockchain. Should you
> wish to revise your request to limit the scope to a more specific
> term, date, or person(s), I believe the number of pages needing my
> review would be substantially reduced.
>
> Unfortunately, our agency and I understand most or all of state
> government is experiencing a major network interruption today, so
> staff are unable to send me their remaining records responsive to your
> request. Indeed, I understand that as I write this message, it will
> not be capable of transmission for some time. Nevertheless, please
> contact me upon receipt to discuss how I should proceed.
>
> Thank you.
>
> JK
>
>
> John W. Kessler
> General Counsel
> Agency of Commerce and Community Development National Life Bldg., 6th
> Floor Montpelier, VT 05620
> (802) 828-5202
> Parking at National
> Life<http://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accd/files/Documents/accd/NL_Campus
> %20Parking_Map.pdf>
>
> NOTE: My new email address is john.kessler@vermont.gov
>
> Email had 1 attachment:
> + Official Fee Schedule for Copying Public Records.docx
> 19k
> (application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.docume
> nt)

From: Agency Of Commerce And Community Development

Brian

An update as promised.

We have 51 pages responsive to your revised request and I am awaiting final report back on whether anyone sees exempt content. I'm also awaiting review five pages of very brief emails by the Governor's Office on whether or not they wish to assert executive privilege -- that's their decision alone, not ours.

I expect at a minimum to be able to send you by COB tomorrow the 51 pages described above. I also noticed one or more messages referenced an attached report that had been requested by the Vermont Legislature. Rather than print and send that to you, please accept it via the link below, which link is also in the attached Word document:

https://www.vermontlaw.edu/sites/default/files/2017-12/CLI_Legislative_Report_2017.pdf

I have expended 90 minutes total printing, scanning, and reviewing the records. I don't foresee needing to do much more to finalize our response, so you should expect the fee to be $51.30 (90 mins x $.57). I will be back in touch tomorrow.

JK

From: Agency Of Commerce And Community Development

Brian
Attached are all of our records responsive to your request revised to the terms Propy, Natalia, and Karayaneva. In addition to these records, there were three pages including four brief email messages between appointees in our agency and the Governor's Office that have been withheld under executive privilege.
As I advised in my email yesterday, the cost for my time, beyond the first 30 minutes at no charge, came to $51.30 for 90 minutes at $.57/minute. Please mail us a check made payable to The State of Vermont, with "Public Records" in the Memo line.
If you wish to appeal any aspect of our production as allowed under 1 VSA 318(c), you may do so directly with ACCD Secretary Michael Schirling. If you have any outstanding questions, please free to contact me.

Thank you.

JK

John W. Kessler
General Counsel
Agency of Commerce and Community Development National Life Bldg., 6th
Floor Montpelier, VT 05620
(802) 828-5202
Parking at National
Life<http://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accd/files/Documents/accd/NL_Campus
20Parking_Map.pdf
NOTE: My new email address is john.kessler@vermont.gov

Email had 2 attachments:
ACCD Emails 51 Pages Scanned.pdf
7.2M (application/pdf)
Kate Purcell email to Tayt Brooks Scanned 2 Pages.pdf
112k (application/pdf)

From: Agency Of Commerce And Community Development

On Fri, Aug 10, 2018, at 1:29 PM, Kessler, John wrote:
> Brian
>
> Attached are all of our records responsive to your request revised to
> the terms Propy, Natalia, and Karayaneva. In addition to these records,
> there were three pages including four brief email messages between
> appointees in our agency and the Governor's Office that have been
> withheld under executive privilege.
>
> As I advised in my email yesterday, the cost for my time, beyond the
> first 30 minutes at no charge, came to $51.30 for 90 minutes at $.57/
> minute. Please mail us a check made payable to The State of Vermont,
> with "Public Records" in the Memo line.
>
> If you wish to appeal any aspect of our production as allowed under 1
> VSA 318(c), you may do so directly with ACCD Secretary Michael
> Schirling. If you have any outstanding questions, please free to
> contact me.
>
> Thank you.
>
> JK
>
> John W. Kessler
> General Counsel
> Agency of Commerce and Community Development
> National Life Bldg., 6th Floor
> Montpelier, VT 05620
> (802) 828-5202
> Parking at National
> Life<http://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accd/files/Documents/accd/NL_Campus%20Parking_Map.pdf>
>
> NOTE: My new email address is john.kessler@vermont.gov
>
> Email had 2 attachments:
> + ACCD Emails 51 Pages Scanned.pdf
> 7.2M (application/pdf)
> + Kate Purcell email to Tayt Brooks Scanned 2 Pages.pdf
> 112k (application/pdf)

From: Brian Waters

Thanks John, I received your response and reviewed the documents over the weekend. I'll mail a check to ACCD, made out as you requested.

Thanks,
Brian Waters

From:

Thanks John, I received your response and reviewed the documents over the weekend. I'll mail a check to ACCD, made out as you requested.

Thanks,
Brian Waters

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