Housing Authority hands critic big bill for photocopies

The Saratoga Springs Housing Authority may have hit on a novel way to get back at its critics — a hit in their wallets.

John Kaufmann, one of the housing authority’s most persistent critics, was recently hit with a bill for $394.25, after the SSHA responded voluminously to what he thought was a reasonable Freedom of Information Law request for documents.

Kaufmann, who began dogging the authority after questions arose in 2011 about the handling of a bedbug infestation, wanted copies of contracts for the authority’s legal and auditing services. As a citizen, he’s entitled to them, just like you and I are.

Kaufmann filed a FOIL request last September; the authority didn’t get back to him until February, and did so with enough loose material for two Russian novels or maybe three campaign-specific Civil War histories — a total of 1,577 pages. Along with them came a bill for $394.25, based on 40-year-old state law allowing the authority to charge 25 cents per copied page for FOIL requests. Continue>>>