Schmidt extends record
Gary Schmidt, business owner, vice chairman of Washoe County’s Board of Equalization and frequent public document-access litigant, has one small announcement he’d like to make to all those public agencies who would deny him public records: I win again.
In January 2003, Schmidt requested a series of documents from Reno business license division, which he was denied. ("Schmidt goes on offensive again,” RN&R, Jan. 16, 2003). He then requested a Harrah’s business license to illustrate his belief that employees would deny him any public record request he made as a matter of course, which they did. He sued.
“They settled, took the suit off calendar, they paid my attorney fees, which was $1,000, and they adopted the same resolution, with very minor changes, that the county adopted a year and a half ago,” Schmidt said. “And, they set up four training sessions for their employees, two in December and two in January, to teach their counter employees and managers on the new policies and procedures about how to respond to public records.”
The rules weren’t made law by the Reno City Council. Rather, they’re policies adopted by Reno City Manager Charles McNeely.
Schmidt had a shortened version of the policy, which he said conforms to NRS 239, Nevada’s public records law.
“Unless a record is declared by state or federal law to be confidential, the record will be available for review, disclosure and copying at any service counter at any government agency during normal business hours,” he said.
Washoe County’s policy can be found on the county Web site by typing "public records" into the search engine and selecting "Public Records Policy and Procedures."