The Iowa Public Information Board
COMES NOW, Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and enters this Dismissal Order:
On March 1, 2021, Richard Dye filed formal complaint 21FC:0014, alleging that the City of Albia (City) violated Iowa Code chapter 22 by failing to release public records.
Mr. Dye alleged that he has repeatedly been denied records by the City. He alleged that the most recent denial concerned a records request he made on January 4, 2021. He requested copies of the landlord/tenant city ordinance and work orders from licensed contractors concerning a court eviction proceeding. He alleged that the record request was made orally.
When asked for further details, Mr. Dye elaborated on his record request:
“The records I want: Albia’s landlord Tennant [sic] ordinance and with that should be Albia’s registered landlords and their fees paid to be registered landlords... also specifically 320 South A, Albia Iowa the 15 violations owner Nick Matuzi ordered to have all work done by licensed contractors before sale or rented... also the record that shows the home was ever cleared for sale or rent. Door was plaquered [sic] with yellow paper. Said not to be sold or rented till water on and licensed plumber inspected and signed by Albia. In a nut shell I've asked for all records clearing 320 South A since Nick Matuzi purchased the home!”
Legal counsel for the City responded that all public records related to this request were released on April 1, 2020. He added that City staff have offered to have Mr. Dye review the municipal code at City Hall. These documents are also available on the City website.
He added that some of the records requested, such as repair records, either are not kept by the City or do not exist. One document, the International Property Maintenance Code, is a model code and protected by copyright from being copied. Mr. Dye can view that record at City Hall.
All responsive records have been released. There is no evidence that the City has violated Iowa Code chapter 22.
Iowa Code section 23.8 requires that a complaint be within the IPIB’s jurisdiction, appear legally sufficient, and have merit before the IPIB accepts a complaint. This complaint does not meet those requirements.
IT IS SO ORDERED: Formal complaint 21FC:0014 is dismissed as legally insufficient, pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.8(2) and Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(2)(b).
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may “delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the executive director, subject to review by the board.” The IPIB will review this Order on March 18, 2021. Pursuant to IPIB rule 497-2.1(4), the parties will be notified in writing of its decision.
By the IPIB Executive Director
Margaret E. Johnson
1. The records Mr. Dye requested in December 2020 are still waiting for him to pick up at City Hall.
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of March, 2021, to:
Robert Breckenridge, legal counsel for the City of Albia