We're so close. As the Boston Herald writes in their editorial Grumbling about records, "The Legislature is at long last poised to bring Massachusetts’ public records law into the 21st century."
But even though dozens of Massachusetts groups devoted to good government, environmental protection, health care and other issues of public concern support the reform, not everyone has gotten on board. The Massachusetts Municipal Association recently put out objections that the Herald said call to mind "a barnyard term… we likely shouldn't use in print." They continued:
"What the law would do is have each city and town 'designate' one person to respond to calls—not a new hire, just so folks know who is to be in receipt of requests. Is that really so much to ask?
As for the possibility of facing those court-imposed award of attorneys' fees—well, there's a really easy way for city and town officials to avoid those. That would be by complying with the law. Of course, if city and town clerks did that in a timely fashion, Massachusetts wouldn't be ranked among the worst states in the nation for public records access."