Mount Pleasant (MI) cites FOIA while withholding city manager finalist names

Mount Pleasant city officials announced last week that commissioners will interview finalists for the vacant city manager position on June 24. City officials still have not released the names of the finalists, even after receiving a formal request under Michigan’s public records law by Central Michigan Life.

Interim City Manager Nancy Ridley is the only finalist who has been publicly named. Ridley and City Clerk Jeremy Howard said the other finalists have asked that their names remain confidential until just prior to the interviews. “It is in the public’s interest to know who the finalists are – one of them will be running the city,” said Central Michigan Life Editor In Chief Ben Solis. “It is impossible for us, or city residents, to investigate their backgrounds, previous work history and what they can offer to Mount Pleasant if we don’t even know their names.”

CM Life made a formal request for the names of the finalists using the state’s Freedom of Information Act, a state law that allows citizens access to public records. A FOIA request asking for the applications of the finalists was delivered to Ridley on May 27 following a city commission meeting. Ridley declined to provide the information and stated to Solis at the meeting that the city would deny the newspaper’s request. On May 28, Howard stated in the formal request denial that the information is exempt from FOIA. Continue>>>