A York Township commissioner presented a plan during the board of commissioners' meeting Tuesday night that would allow the township to publish the names of people who make Right-to-Know.

Commissioner Paul Knepper said the requests cost taxpayers money and they should know who's spending it. He wants the names of people making the requests posted on the township's Web site.

"It's taxpayer's money that's being spent," he said. "This is also non-budgeted money."

Knepper said he'd like the township to post online the number of hours required by staff to fill each request.

He siad the public knows when a developer costs the township money, and the information requests shouldn't be treated differently.

In February, the township paid just more than $2,000 in legal fees to Stock and Leader, the township's legal representation, for Right-to-Know issues, said Robert Steele, the board president.

That figure doesn't include the cost incurred by the township to process and either deny or approve a request, said Elizabeth Heathcote, township manager, after the meeting.

Pennsylvania's new Right-to-Know law went into effect at the beginning of the year and is meant to make it easier for people to access public records. It established that records are public unless they meet one of the exceptions in the law, and the agency must prove why a record shouldn't be released. The old law had a limited definition of a public record, and put the burden on requesters to establish why a record should be public.


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Ken Silberstein, a commissioner, said that listing people on the Web site could intimidate others from making information requests.

"I don't think it's a good idea," he said.

Steve Hovis, the township solicitor, said the township likely has the legal right to post the names on the Web site. However, there's no precedent for such an action.

"All the information is clearly public," Hovis said.

Knepper's motion to post the names and the hours needed to fill requests was tabled by Phil Briddell, a commissioner. Briddell's motion to table passed 4-1, with Knepper voting against it.