Knox County mayor proposes to change open record law, increase transparency

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett is proposing a change to the county’s Public Records Policy that would increase transparency and make it easier for record seekers to examine documents.

The mayor’s office sent a news release Tuesday morning and in it proposed a change which would allow public record seekers to take cell phone photos of records instead of taking hand-written notes or paying to print them out.

“In Tennessee, citizens can inspect public documents at no charge. There’s no reason they shouldn’t also be allowed to take pictures of those records with their own cellphone cameras,” Burchett said in the release. “Our taxpayers already pay for these documents and access to public records shouldn’t be limited only to those who can afford to pay for copies.”

Deborah Fisher, executive director of Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, applauded the mayor’s attempt.

“This would get rid of an overly oppressive and bureaucratic rule that the county commission may not even realize that it had adopted,” Fisher said in a statement to the USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee. Read more…