PRESIDENT’S COLUMN: Report your public records problems

Betsy RussellBy Betsy Russell

Although our current public records law provides no official place to turn other than going to court when a requester feels a request has been wrongly denied – or excessive fees have been charged, or other issues arise – there is another option now: Gov. Butch Otter’s public records ombudsman, Cally Younger.

Younger is collecting information on public records issues in Idaho, not only at the state agency level, but also at the local government level. She’s convened a stakeholders group that includes city and county officials, state agency representatives, media representatives, and representatives of the courts and the Attorney General’s office, to look at how to improve the law.

And if you let her know about the issues you’re facing with your public records requests, she may be able to help through informal mediation and constituent service. Younger can be reached by email at

She’ll also make note of the problems for consideration in the ongoing review of our law. Let her know!

Betsy Russell is a Boise-based reporter for The Spokesman-Review, and is the president of the Idaho Press Club.