It has come to our attention that there may be individuals who are not pleased with the fact that we quoted the letter from Jennifer Baumgart – written on behalf of the Jacksonville Elks Club – to the Village of South Jacksonville.
To address a couple of issues that have been raised:
- When correspondence is written to a governmental body that is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, any interested party may request that correspondence from the governmental body. If the correspondence is accessible under FOIA, it must be released upon request.
- Once a requester receives responsive documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, they are free to do whatever they so choose with it – including publishing the documents, verbatim or condensed to emphasize certain matters.
- A private individual does not retain the right to privacy, if they direct correspondence (in the case of the South Jacksonville Christmas / Employee Appreciation Party) to the governmental body, as a representative of a business, organization, other governmental body, etc. If a private individual’s name is on such correspondence (i.e., not otherwise redacted by the governmental body), as the author, their name becomes a matter of public information, as it pertains to that correspondence and may legally be released.
- In the case of the representative of the Jacksonville Elks Club that wrote the letter demanding compensation from the Village of South Jacksonville for the cancellation of the Village Christmas Party, they were tagged on our Facebook page in response to a question from a visitor to the page. No answer or response was demanded of this individual… they chose to respond of their own free will.
- In the continued interest of full disclosure and transparency that this website and its Facebook page has championed in the past and will continue to champion in the future, we are making available for anyone to view the exact document that was delivered to us by Village Clerk Dani Glascock, in her role as South Jacksonville Village Freedom of Information Officer, on December 13, 2016. Please click the link below to view the letter. You will observe that we have published the letter’s contents, verbatim and in its entirety, on our Facebook page.