Dane County's erstwhile policy of insisting that requests for records be mailed or delivered in person seems to be dying from 1,000 paper cuts.
First, in an article last November, the State Journal pointed out that the city of Madison's new records policy expressly allows emailed requests. In February, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney announced that his office was accepting records requests online or by phone.
Now Dane County Supv. Carousel Bayrd is planning to introduce an amendment to the county's open records law requiring that email and online requests be treated as valid.
"My goal is to make it very simple and sweet," says Bayrd, adding that the current "splintered" policy, where one county agency may honor an emailed request and another may not, is untenable.
The county, she says, is now creating a central portal to accommodate electronic requests. She thinks that's a great idea: "It's an understatement to say, 'Get with the times.'"