Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I WON THE APPEAL!!!!!! UPDATED 3X

According to the PA Office of Open Records, only 20% of all appeals are granted. I beat the odds. My appeal has been granted!! Here is what I sent to the media:


Breaking News
The PA Office of Open Records has granted the appeal by Elaine Gillen on behalf of herself and all other safety-concerned Mt. Lebanon residents.

On July 30, 2015, the Request was filed seeking “[a]ll communications to and/or from municipal staff and, all communication to and/or from the commission concerning Anthony DeNicola’s archery program from June 18, 2015 to the present.” 

This decision would have prospective application to any properties that would be signed up for the anticipated day and night rifle killing slated for February 1, 2016, to be finally voted on January 23, 2016, as well as any future municipal-sanctioned hunts.

The Requester’s appeal is granted, and the Municipality is required to provide all e-mails within thirty days. This Final Determination is binding on all parties. Within thirty days of the mailing date of this Final Determination, any party may appeal to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. 



Update November 24, 2015 10:57 PM Open records office orders Mt. Lebanon to release deer cull emails

Update November 25, 2015 6:46 AM The PA Office of Open Records has updated their website to include my appeal. Final Determinations of the Office of Open Records

Update November 25, 2015 6:55 PM Mt. Lebanon resident granted right-to-know request

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm Giving to Thanks to You!!!!! This is a major accomplishment, Elaine, with long term impact. So grateful.

Anonymous said...

This makes me so happy that I could cry right now. Congratulations, Elaine and thank you for advocating on behalf of Mt Lebanon residents and for truth.

Anonymous said...

This is incredible news, Elaine! You Rock!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for going through this whole thing! So shameful of them to have tried to keep residents in the dark on this.

Jason Margolis said...

You beat the odds because "right" is on your side.

The argument that when a public body makes decisions that involve private property -- that the whole operation somehow becomes private -- is absurd. And you called them out.

Victory.

Lena Horne said...

I agree. Mucho gracias, Elaine. I predict that the muni will file an appeal on day 29. Then, the case goes to common pleas court. I think Elaine will also win there. But, it will tie up the disclosure of the location of those properties for (not quite) ever. This is how change starts. One step at a time. Thanks, again, Elaine.

Anonymous said...

The municipality needs to pay your legal fees. After all, if you lost, you would have to pay the municipality's legal fees.

Lena Horne said...

Elaine---

I believe that the open records statute does provide for attorneys' fees. That wouldn't come out in the wash until after the municipality's appeal of your OOR ruling.

E. T. Gillen said...

I will be filing another RTK asking for the same information from July 31 through November 25. :)
Elaine

Jason Margolis said...

I can't remember where I heard this, but I heard there was an illegal email discussion amongst the commissioners where Kristen Linfante, as a final wish, asked all the commissioners (with the exception of Kelly) to vote for Vuono instead of the other democrat dude because she would ensure deer killing.

Did you ever get that email in a RTK?

E. T. Gillen said...

No. I didn't know anything about that.
Elaine

Anonymous said...

Wow! My hat is off to you, Elaine! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there's any provision in the rtk law that could mandate an expedited turn around in the interest of public safety??
Congrats Elaine and thank you so much for all your time and effort on making Mt Lebanon moved toward transparency, which it has never embraced as part if its governance.

Anonymous said...

I never could understand Kristen LinFante.. where in the hell did a Viola player who grad from the Julliard have her main agenda to kill off all the deer in mt Lebanon.. ?? who was pulling her strings.. and these people must of been the same who wanted CV as her replacement... all I can say is good riddance..

Anonymous said...

It sure is interesting that Witold, from the ACLU, cited a right to privacy for homeowners as a reason their identities shouldn't be shared. If a municipality is paying for your service, why should that be private? If the resident is paying out of his/her pocket, I agree that if all laws are upheld, they get that right. However, this isn't a "hunt" -- it's a deer cull paid for by the municipality with nuisance wildlife controllers in management positions -- that we supposedly "need" on behalf of public safety.

TBT: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/hunting-fishing/2015/10/04/Details-of-Mt-Lebanon-deer-hunting-remains-private-by-law/stories/201509300108

Barbara said...

Nov. 25 8:00 PM --

Another difference is that sharpshooting will not abide by the regular, legal safety zones. So if/when people hunt on those lands, it probably will not be with respect to those larger 150 yard zones for guns. So this is a significant difference and why people have the right to know.

Anonymous said...

I just read the Almanac article: http://www.thealmanac.net/article/20151125/NEWS/151129964

There is one comment attached to the article as of now, and I think the commentator makes a very valid point regarding insurance. Do the insurance companies know about archery and hunting on the private properties? How do the insurance companies feel about this? Here is the comment, which I have copied and pasted:

"I would First Like to Thank Mrs Elaine Gillen, God Bless you!!! I hope you run for Office some day cause i for one will be there for you to help in anyway i can.. Keep up the Good Work.. I do have a Couple Questions for the MT Lebanon Commissioners or the Almanac Staff. Who is responsible if someone shoots a Deer (most deer will run up to a Mile after being Shot) and the deer panics and runs into the Road and Causes a Major Accident? Also, All of the Homes and Properties that are Allowing Hunting on their land, Do their Insurance Companies Know about this? Does their Insurance even cover this if there is an Accident on the Property? Has Mt Lebo Ever even looked into any of these issues?"