Lynchburg officials talk about freedom of information at the Virginia Coalition for Open Government


Lynchburg still is working to get copies of the Freedom of Information Act to its volunteer boards and commissions after concluding its past education efforts had been hit or miss.

“I would say they were mostly miss,” said City Manager Kimball Payne, noting the city had no uniform approach for training new board appointees until this year. “… We’re trying to raise that consciousness.”

Payne and Joe Stinnett, managing editor of The News & Advance, represented Lynchburg at a panel discussion Friday organized by the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.

The panel, part of the coalition’s annual conference, was on FOIA litigation. It was held at the Craddock Terry Hotel.


Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition of Open Government, agreed officials sometimes view FOIA as an unwelcome burden that is outside the scope of their normal responsibilities.

“FOIA is absolutely a function of government and has to be looked at as the normal course of business, not as something that’s taking away from other things,” she said.

Virginia Coalition for Open Government is a member of NFOIC. — eds