Other (indicate in message) Submitted: October 26, 2023 | Updated: April 15, 2024

(October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

Good evening Daisy (or Town of Columbus Records Officer / Custodians of the records),

Please reply promptly to the following multi-part public records request, which is being made in accordance with NC Public Records Law (N.C. Gen. Stat. §132-1 through §132-11). https://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bychapter/chapter_132.html

** I’m simply requesting an electronic copy of an electronic record, if one exists. I’m NOT asking for the opportunity to come in person to "inspect", nor to obtain a printed copy of, this electronic record. I’m requesting explicitly that any responsive info be provided to me via the electronic medium / electronic format (in which the copy of this record should already exist). I do not have any further clarifying info I wish to provide to narrow this request. If the request is unclear, or if you are unable to fulfill any or all parts of this request, please specifically cite where a reason for denial is justified under NC Public Records Law.**

A. Please provide all emails sent to and sent from the following individuals, during the time period of 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023:

Town Attorney: Lora Baker
Town Manager: Timothy Barth
Mayor: Patrick McCool
Council Members: Richard Hall , Mark Phillips , Brent Jackson , Becky Kennedy
Town Clerk: Daisy Trejo

This should include any documents, records, or correspondence that pertain to "public business" as defined by the NC Public Records Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1) and as interpreted by the NC Judiciary Branch. This includes, but is not limited to, discussions, decisions, and activities related to town governance, official duties, or matters affecting the public interest.

B. Please provide a copy of the town's Ethics Code or Oath that the Town Council members agree to uphold, as required by North Carolina State Law.

C. Please provide copies of the final versions of all Town Council Meeting agendas, including any addenda, changes, updates, and the like for meetings held from 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023, along with any associated documents, minutes, or records, including documents and communications relating to decisions and actions stemming from those meetings.

I believe that NC Public Records Law broadly defines "public records" to include materials created or received by a government agency while conducting public business. I also believe that personal email accounts used for conducting public government business fall within the purview of the NC Public Records Law. Therefore, I kindly request that any such communications be included within the scope of the requests above.

To facilitate the process, it would be ideal if the requested info could be provided in either Microsoft Word .docx or PDF format. However, it is not 100% necessary. I will happily receive the responsive records in their native format, as this is likely the easiest for you to compile. Emails are already available in their electronic medium, and can be emailed to me, or sent via Google drive link, dropbox, flash drive (if necessary) or another electronic medium.

If any of the requested info is already available online, please provide the relevant URLs where it can be accessed.
————————————

Please note that by submitting this request, I’m NOT agreeing to pay any potential fees or associated costs related to my request. If it isn’t possible to process the request without incurring fees, then please let me know the itemized potential cost and explanations for those charges upfront, and DO NOT proceed until I respond.

By Law I’m not required to provide a name or address to associate with a public records request, but in order to move things along I’d like to clarify that this request is being made by:

Sunshine Request
PO Box 17391
Asheville, NC 28816

The request has been sent solely from the email address [email protected] . If anyone other than that email address contacts you to pursue a similar request, it did not come from me or my Team. Please do not commingle or treat that as an alteration or cancellation of my request – I intend to continue to pursue my request.

Thank you for your assistance!

** Sunshine Request (www.sunshinerequest.com) makes no claim as to the veracity of any statements or information contained in any of the requests, or public records, we receive.

Editor’s Note: Sunshine Request makes no claim as to the veracity of any statements or information contained in any of the requests, or public records, we receive.

Status: Completed

Activity:

  • April 15, 2024 3:38 pm

    1 month ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Apr 15, 2024, 3:38 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Good afternoon Daisy, Becky, Mark,

     

    Daisy, thank you for your help with my multi-part request! I reviewed the files you sent last week (in regard to Becky and Mark’s emails). Later today or early tomorrow I will mark this request as “Completed” on our website.
    —————–

     

    In regard to Mr. Phillips’ statement you shared on 04/11 about some email records being “permanently deleted” — I’d like to make sure the following is noted:

     

    We encourage the Town of Columbus to establish an appropriate retention schedule for public records and ensure that all elected officials and staff are aware of the policy. We feel it is concerning to learn that a Council member may be deleting records from as recently as six months ago. Members of the public should maintain the ability to request these public records in accordance with the Town of Columbus’ retention policy.

     

    While we don’t intend to take any action in this instance, we do want to highlight that NCGS § 132‑3 does regulate the destruction of public records.

     

    If you need assistance creating an appropriate retention policy for your town, we’d encourage you to contact the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

     

    Thank you.

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Completed
  • April 11, 2024 4:15 pm

    1 month ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Apr 11, 2024, 4:15 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Hi Daisy,

     

    Thank you for your message.

     

    I’m confirming receipt of your email above regarding Councilman Phillips specifically, as well as your other email thread today about Councilwoman Kennedy. I will further review both of those emails / attachments, and I will upload them to our website at some point later today or early tomorrow. My Team and I will likely have a follow up question or two, so I’ll be in touch with you about that on Monday.

     

    In regard to any “misunderstanding” or “subsequent conversations” about what was requested. I am unaware of any communication you may have had personally with Mr. Phillips or Mrs. Kennedy, or how my initial request was conveyed to them — but on my end I did make it clear on October 26 that I’ve requested all emails sent to and sent from individuals:

     

    A. Please provide all emails sent to and sent from the following individuals, during the time period of 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023:

     

    Town Attorney: Lora Baker
    Town Manager: Timothy Barth
    Mayor: Patrick McCool
    Council Members: Richard Hall , Mark Phillips , Brent Jackson , Becky Kennedy
    Town Clerk: Daisy Trejo

     

    This should include any documents, records, or correspondence that pertain to “public business” as defined by the NC Public Records Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1) and as interpreted by the NC Judiciary Branch. This includes, but is not limited to, discussions, decisions, and activities related to town governance, official duties, or matters affecting the public interest.

     

    I appreciate your hard work and continued assistance with my request.

     

    Thank you!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Clarification Provided
  • April 11, 2024 3:34 pm

    1 month ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    cc: Tim Barth <[email protected]>
    date: Apr 11, 2024, 3:34 PM
    subject: Councilwoman Kennedy

     

    Hello,

     

    Here is the information you requested from Councilwoman Kennedy. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 5 files referenced for Becky Kennedy specifically (“councilwomankennedy.zip”), at top left in our Documents section.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • April 11, 2024 3:33 pm

    1 month ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Apr 11, 2024, 3:33 PM
    subject: RE: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Hello,

     

    Sorry for the delay. I have attached the emails for Councilman Phillips and will send Councilwoman Kennedy emails in a separate email. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns or need further assistance. Thank you

     

    Councilman Phillips wanted to pass on a message regarding the misunderstanding of the request.

    From Councilman Phillips: I sent you a few emails that met sunshine list requests. What I sent is all that I have. My initial understanding was they only wanted emails that I sent and I originally did not find any but did find a couple today. Based on subsequent conversations the sunshine group wanted received emails as well. I sent all the emails that I have based on the parameters that were laid out. Most of the stuff was permanently deleted. I just do not keep most emails.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 5 files referenced for Mark Phillips specifically (“republicrecordsrequest_october2023requestfortown-2.zip”), at top left in our Documents section.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • April 5, 2024 12:35 pm

    1 month ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Apr 5, 2024, 12:35 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Good afternoon Mark and Becky (the Custodians of these records), Daisy and all others CCed,

     

    I submitted the following public records request to the Town of Columbus on October 26, 2023:

     

    subject: (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

     

    Daisy has been very helpful to complete various aspects of my request. However, I have followed up twice about Part A. as relates to Mark and Becky’s emails specifically. I have not received a response.

     

    Part A. of my request asked for:

     

    A. Please provide all emails sent to and sent from the following individuals, during the time period of 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023:
    Town Attorney: Lora Baker, Town Manager: Timothy Barth, Mayor: Patrick McCool, Council Members: Richard Hall , Mark Phillips , Brent Jackson , Becky Kennedy, Town Clerk: Daisy Trejo
    This should include any documents, records, or correspondence that pertain to “public business” as defined by the NC Public Records Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1) and as interpreted by the NC Judiciary Branch. This includes, but is not limited to, discussions, decisions, and activities related to town governance, official duties, or matters affecting the public interest.

     

    On Feb. 09, 2024 Daisy said that “Mark Phillips and Becky Kennedy stated they do not have any records on file for the dates you asked about 08/03/23-10/11/23.” However, upon further review of the files I did receive from Daisy for other Council Members, I noticed many of the documents show that either Mark, Becky, or both, were recipients or CC’d on communications with other members of Council and Staff, which clearly shows that they have been sent emails during the requested time period.

     

    Just as an example:

     

    Mayor McCool’s emails. File name: Fwd_ WOODCARVERS APPLICATION8.pdf
    – Within that email there is also a message sent to Becky Kennedy (among others) on September 26th, 2023.

     

    Mayor McCool’s emails. File name: Fwd_ Public Works Report August 14-186.pdf
    – Within that email there is also a message forwarded to Mark Phillips and Becky Kennedy (among others) on August 18th, 2023.

     

    Those are only two examples of instances where Mark or Becky Kennedy were sent emails during the period of 08/03/23 through 10/11/23. There are many other examples of times where they were both CC’d on communications from Mr. Jackson or others as well.

     

    Under NC Law, the custodian of the records has a responsibility to respond to this public records request. If the records I requested exist, then Becky and Mark have a responsibility to produce those records. With this in mind — I would like to ask you both (as the custodians of these records) to please provide all emails that are responsive to Part A. of my request, as required by Law.

     

    Thank you for your assistance!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • March 22, 2024 12:09 pm

    2 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Mar 22, 2024, 12:09 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Good afternoon Daisy,

     

    I’m following up on my last message (Mar 15, 2024, 5:00 PM). I have not heard back.

     

    Please ask Mark and Becky to provide you with all emails that are responsive to Part A. of my records request.

     

    I will follow up with you again later next week, if I do not hear back. At which point, I will cc: Mark and Becky on this thread, asking them directly to provide the requested records, which they are obligated to do as the custodian(s) of those records under NC Public Records Law.

     

    Have a great weekend!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Follow up
  • March 15, 2024 5:00 pm

    2 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Mar 15, 2024, 5:00 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Hi Daisy,

     

    Happy Friday!

     

    Thank you for your patience while I reviewed the files you sent responsive to Part A. of my request:

     

    A. Please provide all emails sent to and sent from the following individuals, during the time period of 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023:
    Town Attorney: Lora Baker, Town Manager: Timothy Barth, Mayor: Patrick McCool, Council Members: Richard Hall , Mark Phillips , Brent Jackson , Becky Kennedy, Town Clerk: Daisy Trejo
    This should include any documents, records, or correspondence that pertain to “public business” as defined by the NC Public Records Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1) and as interpreted by the NC Judiciary Branch. This includes, but is not limited to, discussions, decisions, and activities related to town governance, official duties, or matters affecting the public interest.

     

    You mentioned a while ago that “Mark Phillips and Becky Kennedy stated they do not have any records on file for the dates you asked about 08/03/23-10/11/23.”  However, upon further review of the files I received I noticed many of the documents show either Mark, Becky, or both, were recipients or CC’d on communications with other members of Council and Staff, which clearly shows that they have been sent emails during the requested time period.

     

    For example:

     

    Mayor McCool’s emails. File name: Fwd_ WOODCARVERS APPLICATION8.pdf
    – Within that email there is also a message sent to Becky Kennedy (among others) on September 26th, 2023.

     

    Mayor McCool’s emails. File name: Fwd_ Public Works Report August 14-186.pdf
    – Within that email there is also a message forwarded to Mark Phillips and Becky Kennedy (among others) on August 18th, 2023.

     

    Those are just two examples of instances where I can see Mark or Becky Kennedy have been sent emails during the period of 08/03/23 through 10/11/23. There are many other examples of times where they were both CC’d on communications from Mr. Jackson or others as well. With this in mind — I would like to ask that you please check again with Mark and Becky, and ask that they provide all emails that are responsive to Part A. of my request, as required by Law.

     

    I will follow up again in another week or two, if I don’t hear anything else before then.

     

    Have a great weekend!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Sent to Government
  • March 8, 2024 2:17 pm

    2 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Mar 8, 2024, 2:17 PM
    subject: RE: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Great, will be looking for your email next week. Have a great weekend!

     

    Daisy


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • March 8, 2024 2:08 pm

    2 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Mar 8, 2024, 2:08 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Hi Daisy,

     

    My apologies for the delay.

     

    I received the 21 attachments you sent above on Feb. 26 re: Councilman Jackson’s emails. Thank you!

     

    I have reviewed the documents. However, I will have some additional clarification questions for you about my request, and will get back to you about this shortly. It will likely be next week.

     

    Thank you for your help!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • February 26, 2024 10:56 am

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Feb 26, 2024, 10:56 AM
    subject: RE: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Hello,

     

    I have attached all of the emails that Councilman Jackson sent over (21). Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

     

    Daisy

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 21 files referenced (“republicrecordsrequest_october2023requestfortown-1.zip”) at top left in our Documents section.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • February 20, 2024 4:45 pm

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Feb 20, 2024, 4:45 PM
    subject: RE: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Great,

    I will convert Councilman Jackson’s emails to PDF and send them over once I have received them.

     

    Daisy Trejo


    Status: Government Processing Request
  • February 20, 2024 4:40 pm

    3 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Feb 20, 2024, 4:40 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Hi Daisy,

     

    Thank you for your reply!

     

    Yes. I believe that items B. and C. from my initial request have been satisfied. I’ve posted all those updates on our website.
    ———–

     

    In regard to item A. specifically:

     

    A. Please provide all emails sent to and sent from the following individuals, during the time period of 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023:

     

    Town Attorney: Lora Baker

    Town Manager: Timothy Barth

    Mayor: Patrick McCool

    Council Members: Richard Hall , Mark Phillips , Brent Jackson , Becky Kennedy

    Town Clerk: Daisy Trejo

     

    This should include any documents, records, or correspondence that pertain to “public business” as defined by the NC Public Records Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1) and as interpreted by the NC Judiciary Branch. This includes, but is not limited to, discussions, decisions, and activities related to town governance, official duties, or matters affecting the public interest.

     

    I received 1 email on 01/16/24, which included a total of 18 attachments:

    1) “Sunshine request Daisy 8.03.23 through 10.11.23” . 18 files.

     

    I received 4 emails on 02/06/24, which included a total of 80 attachments:

    1) “Councilman Hall”. 21 files

    2) “Mayor McCool”. 11 files

    3) “Tim Barth”. 31 files

    4) “Lora Baker”. 17 files

     

    I’ve noted you told me that “Mark Phillips and Becky Kennedy stated they do not have any records on file for the dates you asked about 08/03/23-10/11/23.”

     

    With that in mind — Yes, I do believe that sending Mr. Jackson’s emails should be all that remains to satisfy my request at this point.

     

    Thank you for your help!


    Status: Clarification Provided
  • February 20, 2024 4:20 pm

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Feb 20, 2024, 4:20 PM
    subject: RE: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    I do apologize for the confusion. I have reached out to Councilman Brent Jackson, and I am awaiting his submissions. I believe that is the only information we are waiting on, correct?

     

    Daisy Trejo


    Status: Clarification Requested
  • February 20, 2024 12:02 pm

    3 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Feb 20, 2024, 12:02 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Hi Daisy,

     

    Following up on my message above from 02/09. I haven’t received a response. I’m just trying to close the loop and determine if the request has been fully satisfied, or if it can be completed.

     

    In order to avoid further confusion between our numerous email threads — please see all communications we’ve exchanged about the request to-date, at the following URL. The oldest communication starts at the bottom of the page, and the newest is at the top. I’ve posted all of the records I’ve received from you to this point (minus the 19 email threads I received from Mr. Jackson):

     

    (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

     

    Re: Brent Jackson.

     

    I submitted my request on 10/26/23. On 11/03/23 you let me know you were working to compile the requested info. On 11/17/23 I received a succession of 19 email threads sent to me directly from Brent Jackson. Every one of those direct emails was a unique email with its own subject, body, and also had additional attachments at the bottom. Since I hadn’t heard anything about this from you directly, I figured that his sending me so many emails and attachments was a mistake — and that Mr. Jackson should have sent you all the responsive records to review first. I called you about this immediately, and we spoke about this on the phone. It sounded like you were saying you did need to review and compile his emails, which is what I’ve been waiting on to this point.

     

    I could attempt to go back into my inbox and compile all 19 of Mr. Jackson’s email threads / attachments into a more organized format. However, that’s time consuming and I’m concerned you might not have reviewed those emails yet to see if they’re fully responsive to my request. It would really be ideal, if you can please compile the requested info you received from Mr. Jackson into one folder — and send it to me here, as you’ve done with all other emails that have been requested to this point.

     

    I will follow up again in 1 week, if I haven’t heard anything else before then.

     

    Thank you for your help!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Follow up
  • February 9, 2024 5:12 pm

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: [email protected]
    date: Feb 9, 2024, 5:12 PM
    subject: Agenda for 2.15.2024

     

    Happy Friday,

     

    I have attached the agenda for the February 15, 2024 Town Council meeting at 5pm here at Town Hall. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    Correspondence to and from this E-mail address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law (NCGS Chapter 132) and may be disclosed to third parties.

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 1 file referenced (“Agenda-for-2.15.24-1.pdf”) at top left in documents section. However, please note that it is not clear why we’ve received this document — if it is meant to be a reply to our last email to Daisy.

     

    We will follow up with her about our request again, next week.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • February 9, 2024 1:50 pm

    3 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Feb 9, 2024, 1:50 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Hi Daisy,

     

    Thank you for that information! I’ll add it to our website momentarily.
    ——–

     

    I think there has been some confusion, however, RE: Brent Jackson. Just to clarify —

     

    I submitted my request to you on October 26, 2023. On November 03, you let me know that you were working to compile the requested information.

     

    On November 17th, I started receiving a succession of 19 different email threads sent to me directly from Brent Jackson. Every one of those direct emails was a unique email with a subject, body, and also had additional attachments at the bottom. I believe that you are responsible for reviewing / compiling the information from Mr. Jackson, and since I hadn’t heard anything about this from you directly, I figured that his sending me so many emails and attachments was a mistake — and that Mr. Jackson should have been sending you all the responsive records to review first. I called you about this immediately, and we spoke about this on the phone.

     

    I could go back now into my inbox and try to compile all 19 of Mr. Jackson’s email threads / attachments to me into a more organized format. However, that is time consuming and I am concerned if you have not yet reviewed those emails to see if they’re fully responsive to my request.

     

    It would really be ideal, if you can please confirm and compile the requested information from Mr. Jackson into one folder — and send it to me as you’ve done with all other emails that have been requested to this point.

     

    Thank you for your help!


    Status: Clarification Requested
  • February 9, 2024 10:59 am

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Feb 9, 2024, 10:59 AM
    subject: RE: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Good morning,

     

    My apologies: I thought when I sent you my attachments on 1.16.2024 had been sufficient. But I have saved all my documents as pdf and attached them to this email. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

     

    Mark Phillips and Becky Kennedy stated they do not have any records on file for the dates you asked about 08/03/23-10/11/23.
    Brent Jackson had sent his emails to [email protected]. I talked to him about emailing them to me so that I could send them to you. I am waiting for his emails.

     

    The meeting for October 2023 took place on October 18, 2023, and the agenda was ready on October 13, 2023. You can find our town council agendas on our website at www.columbusnc.com.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    Correspondence to and from this E-mail address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law (NCGS Chapter 132) and may be disclosed to third parties.

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please the 18 attachments referenced (“republicrecordsrequest_october2023requestfortown.zip”) at top left in our Documents section.


    Status: Clarification Provided
  • February 8, 2024 6:58 pm

    3 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Feb 8, 2024, 6:58 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

     

    Hi Daisy,

     

    My apologies.

     

    Correction to my last email, in regard to item # C. I see now that a document was also provided called “Agenda for Sept 21, 2023”.

     

    Can you please clarify why no other documents were provided for October 2023? If there were no meetings in October 2023, please specify this.

     

    Thank you!


    Status: Clarification Requested
  • February 8, 2024 6:47 pm

    3 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Feb 8, 2024, 6:47 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

     

    Good evening Daisy,

     

    In regard to the following public records request I submitted to your offices on 10/26/2023:
    (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

     

    I received all 5 of your emails to me on 02/06/2024, which included a total of 83 attachments:

     

    1) “Councilman Hall”. 21 files
    2) “Mayor McCool”. 11 files
    3) “Tim Barth”. 31 files
    4) “Lora Baker”. 17 files
    5) “Agenda and Code of Ethics”. 3 files

     

    Your emails # 1 – 4 satisfy some, but not all, aspects of item A. from my request — in which I asked for the following:

     

    A. Please provide all emails sent to and sent from the following individuals, during the time period of 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023:

     

    Town Attorney: Lora Baker
    Town Manager: Timothy Barth
    Mayor: Patrick McCool
    Council Members: Richard Hall , Mark Phillips , Brent Jackson , Becky Kennedy
    Town Clerk: Daisy Trejo

     

    This should include any documents, records, or correspondence that pertain to “public business” as defined by the NC Public Records Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1) and as interpreted by the NC Judiciary Branch. This includes, but is not limited to, discussions, decisions, and activities related to town governance, official duties, or matters affecting the public interest.”

     

    It is unclear why emails for Mark Phillips, Brent Jackson, Becky Kennedy, and yourself, have not been provided. Can you please clarify? Perhaps you are still working to fulfill that aspect of my request?

     

    Similarly. Your email # 5 does satisfy item B. and, in part, some of what was requested in item C. However, I’d like to ask for clarification in regard to item C., in which I asked for the following:

     

    C. Please provide copies of the final versions of all Town Council Meeting agendas, including any addenda, changes, updates, and the like for meetings held from 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023, along with any associated documents, minutes, or records, including documents and communications relating to decisions and actions stemming from those meetings.”

     

    The only file provided that’s related to this item, is a 44 page document called “Aug 17, 2023 Agenda Final”. Can you please clarify why no other documents through 10/11/203 have been provided? If the answer is that “there were no other meetings in September or October 2023”, then please specify this.

     

    Thank you for your help!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Clarification Requested
  • February 6, 2024 6:43 pm

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    date: Feb 6, 2024, 6:43 PM
    subject: Agenda and Code of Ethics

     

    Hello,

     

    Here is the code of ethics and agendas per your request. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    Correspondence to and from this E-mail address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law (NCGS Chapter 132) and may be disclosed to third parties.

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 3 attachments referenced (“lagendaandcodeofethics.zip”) at top left in our Documents section. Please note that we received 5 emails from Daisy today — total of 83 attachments overall.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • February 6, 2024 6:40 pm

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    date: Feb 6, 2024, 6:40 PM
    subject: Lora Baker

     

    Hello,

     

    Here is Town Attorney, Lora Baker record request. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    Correspondence to and from this E-mail address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law (NCGS Chapter 132) and may be disclosed to third parties.

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 17 attachments referenced (“lorabaker.zip”) at top left in our Documents section. Please note that we received 5 emails from Daisy today — total of 83 attachments overall.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • February 6, 2024 6:40 pm

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    date: Feb 6, 2024, 6:40 PM
    subject: Town Manager Tim Barth

     

    Hello,

     

    Here is Town Manager, Tim Barth record request. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    Correspondence to and from this E-mail address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law (NCGS Chapter 132) and may be disclosed to third parties.

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 31 attachments referenced (“townmanagertimbarth.zip”) at top left in our Documents section. Please note that we received 5 emails from Daisy today — total of 83 attachments overall.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • February 6, 2024 5:56 pm

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    date: Feb 6, 2024, 5:56 PM
    subject: Mayor McCool Record Request

     

    Hello,

     

    Here is Mayor McCool record request. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    Correspondence to and from this E-mail address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law (NCGS Chapter 132) and may be disclosed to third parties.

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 11 attachments referenced (“mayormccoolrecordrequest.zip”) at top left in our Documents section. Please note that we received 5 emails from Daisy today — total of 83 attachments overall.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • February 6, 2024 5:55 pm

    3 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    date: Feb 6, 2024, 5:55 PM
    subject: Councilman Hall

     

    Hello,

     

    Here is Councilman Hall record request. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    Correspondence to and from this E-mail address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law (NCGS Chapter 132) and may be disclosed to third parties.

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 21 attachments referenced (“councilmanhall.zip”) at top left in our Documents section. Please note that we received 5 emails from Daisy today — total of 83 attachments overall.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • January 30, 2024 6:30 pm

    3 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    date: Jan 30, 2024, 6:30 PM
    subject: Re: Sunshine request Daisy 8.03.23 through 10.11.23

     

    Good evening Daisy,

     

    Thank you again for sending the 18 files above on January 16th.

     

    It’s unclear to me at this point whether there are any more files that you’ll be sending me, or if the email you sent on 01/16 means that my request has been completed. If you are planning on sending more files, can you please specify this?

     

    As I mentioned previously: if possible, it would be great if moving forward you could send any .eml files as .pdfs instead — just so that they’re easier to access.

     

    Thank you for your help!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Follow up
  • January 16, 2024 6:08 pm

    4 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    date: Jan 16, 2024, 6:08 PM
    subject: Re: Sunshine request Daisy 8.03.23 through 10.11.23

     

    Hi Daisy,

     

    Thank you for sending the 18 files above.

     

    I was able to view all of these, and I’ve uploaded them to our website as a .zip (zipped folder). If possible, it would be great moving forward if you could send me any .eml files as .pdfs instead, so that they’re easier to access.

     

    I’m not sure how many more files you’ll be sending — but if you’d like to send them in organized “batches” as they’re available, please feel free to do so.

     

    Thank you for your help.


    Status: Government Processing Request
  • January 16, 2024 11:44 am

    4 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    date: Jan 16, 2024, 11:44 AM
    subject: Sunshine request Daisy 8.03.23 through 10.11.23

     

    Hello,

     

    I have gather all of the information you requested. I will be emailing you each individual Town council, Attorney, Town Clerk and Town Manager information. Please let me know if there is any issues with opening this form of attachments. if not I will proceeded to email you the requested information this way. Thank you.

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    Correspondence to and from this E-mail address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law (NCGS Chapter 132) and may be disclosed to third parties.

     

    **Editor’s Note: Please see the 18 files referenced (“sunshinerequestdaisy8_03_23through10_11_23.zip”) at top left in our Documents section.


    Status: Response Received from Government
  • January 2, 2024 6:07 pm

    4 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Jan 2, 2024, 6:07 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Good evening Daisy,

     

    I submitted the following public records request to your offices on October 26:
    (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

     

    I understood from our phone conversation on November 17 that you were working on the request, and still needed a little more time to finish compiling the responsive files.

     

    I’d like to ask again that you please provide an anticipated date for the completion of my request. I will follow up again in 1 week, if I haven’t heard anything else before then.

     

    Thank you for your help!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Follow up
  • December 21, 2023 2:43 pm

    5 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Dec 21, 2023, 2:42 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Good afternoon Daisy,

     

    I hope you’ve had a good December so far.

     

    Please provide an anticipated date for the completion of the following public records request. I submitted it to your offices on October 26:

     

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Oct 26, 2023, 5:52 PM
    subject: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

     

    When I spoke to you via phone about my request on November 17 — I understood from that conversation you were working on the request, and still needed a little more time to finish compiling the responsive files.

     

    I will follow up again after the Holiday break, if I haven’t heard anything else before then.

     

    Thank you for your help!

     

    ~ Lauren (and The Sunshine Request Team)


    Status: Follow up
  • December 5, 2023 6:58 pm

    5 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Dec 5, 2023, 6:58 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Good evening Daisy,

     

    I hope you’ve been well and are having a good month so far.

     

    I’m just following up on my public records request. It was first sent to your offices on October 26th:

     

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Oct 26, 2023, 5:52 PM
    subject: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

     

    Thank you for speaking with me (via phone) about the request back on November 17th. I understood from our conversation that you were still working on the request, and needed more time to finish compiling the responsive files.

     

    Can you please provide an anticipated date for the completion of my request?

     

    I will follow up again in another week or so, if I haven’t heard anything else before then.

     

    Thank you for your help!

     

    ~ Lauren (and The Sunshine Request Team)


    Status: Follow up
  • November 17, 2023 11:03 am

    6 months ago

    **11/17/23 Editor’s Note: We called Daisy this morning to check on the status of this request. They’re still working on it, and compiling all the different files. We will continue to follow up in the next two weeks. Thank you for using Sunshine Request!


    Status: Government Processing Request
  • November 6, 2023 5:40 pm

    6 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Nov 6, 2023, 5:40 PM
    subject: Re: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Excellent — Thank you Daisy!

     

    I’ll follow up with you again in a couple of weeks, if I don’t hear anything else before then.

     

    Have a good evening!

     

    ~ The Sunshine Request Team


    Status: Government Processing Request
  • November 3, 2023 10:34 am

    6 months ago

    from: [email protected]
    to: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Nov 3, 2023, 10:34 AM
    subject: RE: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from

     

    Good Morning,

     

    We have received your request and we are compiling the information. Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

     

     

    Kind Regards,

    Daisy Trejo

    Town Of Columbus

    Town Clerk

    828-894-8236 EXT: 1002

    [email protected]

     

    Correspondence to and from this E-mail address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law (NCGS Chapter 132) and may be disclosed to third parties.


    Status: Government Processing Request
  • October 26, 2023 5:52 pm

    7 months ago

    from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
    to: [email protected]
    cc: [email protected], [email protected]
    date: Oct 26, 2023, 5:52 PM
    subject: Public records request. (October 2023) Request for Town of Columbus, NC Government: Emails to and from Attorney, Manager, Mayor, Council, and Clerk, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23. Council Code of Ethics. And Council Meeting agendas, addenda, minutes, from 08/03/23 – 10/11/23.

     

    Good evening Daisy (or Town of Columbus Records Officer / Custodians of the records),

     

    Please reply promptly to the following multi-part public records request, which is being made in accordance with NC Public Records Law (N.C. Gen. Stat. §132-1 through §132-11). https://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bychapter/chapter_132.html

     

    ** I’m simply requesting an electronic copy of an electronic record, if one exists. I’m NOT asking for the opportunity to come in person to “inspect”, nor to obtain a printed copy of, this electronic record. I’m requesting explicitly that any responsive info be provided to me via the electronic medium / electronic format (in which the copy of this record should already exist). I do not have any further clarifying info I wish to provide to narrow this request. If the request is unclear, or if you are unable to fulfill any or all parts of this request, please specifically cite where a reason for denial is justified under NC Public Records Law.**

     

    A. Please provide all emails sent to and sent from the following individuals, during the time period of 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023:

     

    Town Attorney: Lora Baker
    Town Manager: Timothy Barth
    Mayor: Patrick McCool
    Council Members: Richard Hall , Mark Phillips , Brent Jackson , Becky Kennedy
    Town Clerk: Daisy Trejo

     

    This should include any documents, records, or correspondence that pertain to “public business” as defined by the NC Public Records Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1) and as interpreted by the NC Judiciary Branch. This includes, but is not limited to, discussions, decisions, and activities related to town governance, official duties, or matters affecting the public interest.

     

    B. Please provide a copy of the town’s Ethics Code or Oath that the Town Council members agree to uphold, as required by North Carolina State Law.

     

    C. Please provide copies of the final versions of all Town Council Meeting agendas, including any addenda, changes, updates, and the like for meetings held from 08/03/2023 through 10/11/2023, along with any associated documents, minutes, or records, including documents and communications relating to decisions and actions stemming from those meetings.

     

    I believe that NC Public Records Law broadly defines “public records” to include materials created or received by a government agency while conducting public business. I also believe that personal email accounts used for conducting public government business fall within the purview of the NC Public Records Law. Therefore, I kindly request that any such communications be included within the scope of the requests above.

     

    To facilitate the process, it would be ideal if the requested info could be provided in either Microsoft Word .docx or PDF format. However, it is not 100% necessary. I will happily receive the responsive records in their native format, as this is likely the easiest for you to compile. Emails are already available in their electronic medium, and can be emailed to me, or sent via Google drive link, dropbox, flash drive (if necessary) or another electronic medium.

     

    If any of the requested info is already available online, please provide the relevant URLs where it can be accessed.
    ————————————

     

    Please note that by submitting this request, I’m NOT agreeing to pay any potential fees or associated costs related to my request. If it isn’t possible to process the request without incurring fees, then please let me know the itemized potential cost and explanations for those charges upfront, and DO NOT proceed until I respond.

     

    By Law I’m not required to provide a name or address to associate with a public records request, but in order to move things along I’d like to clarify that this request is being made by:

     

    Sunshine Request
    PO Box 17391
    Asheville, NC 28816

     

    The request has been sent solely from the email address [email protected] . If anyone other than that email address contacts you to pursue a similar request, it did not come from me or my Team. Please do not commingle or treat that as an alteration or cancellation of my request – I intend to continue to pursue my request.

     

    Thank you for your assistance!

     

    ** Sunshine Request (www.sunshinerequest.com) makes no claim as to the veracity of any statements or information contained in any of the requests, or public records, we receive.


    Status: Sent to Government
  • October 26, 2023 5:49 pm

    7 months ago

    Submitted to Sunshine Request
    Status: Pending