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Sarasota News Leader September 6, 2013 Page 49 None of the board members or any staff mem- When Barbetta pointed to provisions of the ber present used Ramirez' name while the dis- state law as outlined in the memo, DeMarsh cussion ensued. said the board could make clear in the county policy that people would be charged for staff SEEKING GUIDANCE time as well. During his routine report to the commission "We should have been doing [the billing]," Baron Aug. 28, County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh betta replied. referenced the completion of an assignment Barbetta requested before the commission DeMarsh explained the county has been took its summer break. That effort was to charging for staff time to gather materials for research charges regarding public records public records requests. However, he said, "As requests. In its summary, DeMarsh's memo far as I know, we're not consistently charging said, "We have deterto have someone sit in mined that the County a room with a bunch That person is making a ton of of boxes when somemay charge for staff time spent monitoring public records requests lately. I want to one's looking at [the members of the pub- see all payments received from her for the material]." lic … reviewing pub- past six months. … I'm hearing that there lic records to make aren't payments being made. … We lost "That's just not fair," Barbetta replied. sure that the integrity an assistant for an entire day. of the records is mainJoe Barbetta A staff member reCommissioner tained." cently spent "an entire Sarasota County day, from 9 [a.m.] to 5 The memo notes that [p.m.] with a certain Section 119.07(4)(d) of the Florida Statutes authorizes several types constituent who brought her own copier or of charges for providing or copying public re- scanner, and that person should be charged for that time," Barbetta said, referring to cords, including billing for employee time. Ramirez. Reid pointed out that staff usually likes to let people know what the charges will be ahead "And I think it would be advisable to tell people in advance," DeMarsh continued, "if you're of time for public records requests. going to charge them for something and not "We'll be happy to update the [county] policy," bill them after the fact." he said, "but we would like some guidance." "In other words," Barbetta said, "they're getWhen Barbetta asked for clarification about whether staff already is charging the public for public records requests, DeMarsh told him people pay for copies of documents or discs on which material has been uploaded. ting around the system by bringing their own copier … That's just uncalled for, so I want that person billed." Barbetta added, "That person is making a ton of public records requests lately," referring

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