FOI requests add up, says White Rock mayor

135 inquiries from White Rock residents so far this year

A status report on Freedom of Information requests to the City of White Rock that was presented to council last week indicates that a few individuals account for the majority of them.

The report, presented to council by city clerk Tracey Arthur Nov. 7, says that FOI requests this year (up to Oct. 24) total 135 – up from 103 for all of 2015 and 63 in 2014.

The city, which had been falling behind in processing the requests, hired an extra temporary full-time staff person in June – at an annual salary of $80,000 – to help clear the backlog.

Arthur said that some 98 of the 135 files opened so far this year have now been completed.

She noted that eight applicants had more than one request this year, accounting for 101 of the total. One applicant had submitted 33 requests, another had submitted 23, a third had submitted 19 and a fourth had submitted 15.

“We were receiving between 16 to 40 a year and now they’ve jumped to 135,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin said. “And 90 out of 135 requests are from four people.

“Four people are costing us $80,000 per year – the taxpayers should be aware that’s what’s happening and that’s where their tax dollars are going.”

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