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2008 March 17
Mr. Christopher J. Hess, Assistant General Manager
Legal and Corporate Services
Port Authority of
Heinz 57 Center/Gimbels Landmark Building
By Certified Mail, Return-Receipt Requested
RE: Response to
Dear Mr. Hess:
I sent to the Port Authority of Allegheny County (to the office of Chief Executive Officer Stephen G. Bland) a Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law Request on 2007 August 31; this request was repeated on 2007 October 31. I received your response (dated 2008 February 29 with a postal meter date of 2008 March 3) to my Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law request on 2008 March 5.
Your letter mentions that I may “file an exception requesting a final determination of the denial with Port Authority within fifteen (15) days of receipt of this letter.” While you mention this 15-day deadline that I am expected to comply with, there is no mention in your letter of the complete noncompliance of your response to the amendment to the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, effective 2002 December 26, which requires that public agencies reply to such public requests within five business days. Yes, five business days, not six months!
Now, regarding your response,
please note that the Penn Station to
From your response, am I to
understand that the Port Authority operated a light rail line from Penn Station
Mr. Christopher J. Hess 2008 March 17 Page 2 of 2
After more than a decade of service, it seems likely that once, and probably more often, the Port Authority conducted sample ridership counts on this route, even if you did not regularly maintain separate ridership statistics. Hence, I will ask again (i.e. I am filing an exception requesting a final determination of the denial of relevant ridership data) to be provided ridership counts on the Penn Station to South Hills Village rail line, which ran two round-trips each weekday afternoon up until a year ago this month.
From your response, you stated that some of the “documents which you are seeking are not public records within the meaning of the Act.” I do not necessarily agree, but no matter.
Fortunately, this will all change on January 1 with the implementation of the updated Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, which changes the presumption thus that
“The burden of proving that a record of Commonwealth agency or local agency is exempt from public access shall be on the Commonwealth agency or local agency receiving
a request by a preponderance of the evidence.”
Thus, if you continue to contend that my request asks for information that “are not public records within the meaning of the Act”, I will simply resubmit the request in January.
Glenn A. Walsh
Attachments: Response to
2008 February 29
Copy: Members of the Board of Directors, Port Authority of
Stephen G. Bland, Chief Executive Officer, Port
Barbara Simpson, President, Allegheny
Dan Onorato, Chief Executive,
Members, County Council,