Boone fulfills newspaper's records request
by Anna Oakes
The town of Boone on Wednesday notified the Watauga Democrat that its public records request submitted May 2 had been fulfilled.
The Watauga Democrat asked for copies of all emails or written communications to or from Mayor Loretta Clawson, Boone Town Council members, Affordable Housing Task Force members, Town Manager Greg Young and town attorney Sam Furgiuele related to:
1) the proposed and adopted amendment to the town of Boone's Unified Development Ordinance regarding multi-family housing;
2) the county's pending sale of the old Watauga High School property to Templeton Properties, or any other reference to the name Templeton;
3) a potential lawsuit against the town of Boone;
4) the proposal and enactment of a change to the distribution of local sales tax revenues.
Also requested were minutes of open and closed session Boone Town Council meetings related to a potential lawsuit or sales tax change since Nov. 1, 2012, as well as minutes of the Affordable Housing Task Force since Jan. 1, 2012.
The request was fulfilled five months and one week after it was submitted. The Watauga Democrat checked on the status of the request several times during the past few months.
The town previously provided copies of minutes from closed session meetings held in March and April, but the majority of the text was redacted. Under state law, minutes of a properly conducted closed session meeting "may be withheld from public inspection so long as public inspection would frustrate the purpose of a closed session."
The newspaper's staff will review the messages to determine whether any contain previously undisclosed information about town and county issues.
The newspaper submitted a similar request to Watauga County on May 2, which fulfilled the request two weeks later on May 17.