By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Editor's View: Open Records with the City of Reidsville
Sarah Smith

UPDATE, Sept. 15, 2022: I have received the budget for the City of Reidsville, however I am awaiting another Open Records Request which was filed on August 8. The requests pertains to the properties affected by the vote on July 20, 2022.

Fulfilling Open Records Requests has been an issue for the City of Reidsville in 2022. 

Several citizens have complained about unfulfilled requests at the council meetings, and one citizen mentioned possibly filing suit against the city for this at the August 8 meeting. 

Personally, I have had to remind Nivea Jackson, the records custodian and city clerk, of several of my requests days or weeks after they have been made. 

Most recently, I requested the 2022-23 budget on June 6. I knew I would not receive the budget until it was approved on June 13, but I had to remind the custodian  and attorney once each via email regarding the completion of this request. I did not receive the budget until August 10, almost a month later.

Upon receiving this budget, I was requested by Councilwoman Carolyn Blackshear to wait until an amended version of the budget was completed, which would better detail the city’s spending. I was told on August 10 via phone call that I would receive this amended budget on August 19. I had to remind the records custodian about this request twice via text message, and I have not received the budget as of 3 p.m. on August 23. 

If a custodian cannot complete the records request, they must notify the requestor of a time line of completion within three business days (Open Records Act O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70 et seq.). I have not been notified of a new date to receive this budget. 

I want to be transparent with the community on why I have not published the report in The Journal Sentinel; this is the only outstanding request I have with the City of Reidsville at this time.