5/22/19, 7:38 PM
CRR/SRD WANTED: $160, $100, $25, & $15-
RM PAID 75 Cents
For those following this news page, Ranch Matters has been engaged in a lengthy Information War with the Ranch Special Road District (SRD) regarding the Quail/Emergency Exit.
As part of our on-going investigation, we filed a follow-up Public Records Request with the SRD on April 10, 2019. Part of our request dealt with a “WAIVER OF CONFLICT” regarding the acknowledged conflict between Madras attorney Tim Gassner & his wife, Jefferson County Counsel, Alexa Gassner signed by all three (3) SRD Commissioners in April 2018.
A month later and at the May 8, 2019, SRD Regular Meeting, the SRD acknowledged our Request and Commissioner Mike Schlabach stated, he paid the SRD attorney, Tim Gassner $160.00 for just an estimate to get the requested public records. Schlabach added, “I also paid a visit to Jefferson County Clerk, to try to find, a signed copy of the Waiver, I was actually successful in doing that. It took an hour and a half of my time to complete that-$100 Bucks there.”
The May 8, 2019, SRD Regular Meeting Minutes reported, “Director Schlabach did an estimate for the fees, for the first of driving to Madras in an effort to find a signed copy of the waiver, which he succeeded at, for an estimated cost of $100.00.”
As reported in our 5/09/19, story, Ranch Matters drove to Madras and stopped by the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office after the SRD Meeting. We spoke with County Clerk Kate Zemke regarding the above described Waiver that Schlabach stated he obtained from her Office. Ms. Zemke was unable to locate the Waiver and said she would contact Schlabach.
Later on the 9th, Ms. Zemke contacted Ranch Matters and confirmed the Clerk’s Office did not receive the Waiver in question.
A Special Meeting of the SRD was held on Thursday, May 16, 2019. The Agenda reflected, under NEW BUSINESS, item #2, “Discussion on billing for public document requests.”
At the above meeting, Schlabach explained there was confusion involving where he acquired the Waiver of Conflict. Apparently, the Waiver was actually at attorney Tim Gassner’s office and now he wants to charge Ranch Matters $15.00 for the Waiver of Conflict, not $100 Bucks.
Schlabach also confirmed scanning and emailing a copy of the Waiver of Conflict to County Clerk Zemke.
On May 19, 2019, we emailed County Clerk Zemke advising her that Schlabach confirmed emailing the Waiver of Conflict to her and we requested a copy of the document. Ms. Zemke promptly replied, “Unfortunately, the waiver that Mike Schlabach notified the Clerk’s Office about is not something the Clerk’s office is authorized to release to the public. That is, it is not a document meant to be either filed or recorded with this office in other words, it is not our document to share. To obtain a copy ask Mike Schlabach or the office of Timothy Gassner, Attorney at law.”
Interestingly, Schlabach emailed us today, at 5:22 AM, “Good morning guys. Do you want me to provide you with a copy of the waiver or do you want to get it from Kate at the county clerk’s office?…”
This afternoon (5/22/19), while at the Jefferson County Annex Building, we spoke personally with Ms. Zemke about the Waiver of Conflict and again requested a copy. Ms. Zemke stated Mike Schlabach told her, “It would be inappropriate to share the waiver with us.” We showed her a copy of Schlabach’s email to us from earlier this morning and she asked for a copy and some time to research whether the waiver could be withheld or released-she needed to contact Schlabach.
About an hour later Ms. Zemke provided us a copy of the Waiver of Conflict,
and charged us 75 Cents. Pays to shop around.