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Marshall County, Alabama

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Marshall County is a county in Alabama. Its county seat is Guntersville.

Website evaluation

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Budget N
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Meetings N
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning N
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Audits N
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Contracts N
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Lobbying N
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Public records N
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Local taxes P
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Transparency grading process

The good

  • The County Commissioners and their contact information are listed[1].
  • Contact information for the Administrative officials is also available.
  • Some property tax information is listed[2].

The bad

  • No budgets are posted.
  • No meeting information is posted.
  • There is no information about building permits.
  • No audits, contracts, or lobbying affiliations are listed.
  • No information is provided on how to request public records using the Alabama Public Records Law.


Lobbying

In 2002, Marshall County reported $10,000 spent on lobbying.[3]

Officials deny public records request

Marshall County Commission chairman Douglas Fleming has rejected a May 1, 2008, open records request from county resident Kathy Barnes, saying that her reason for wanting the records is "insufficient."

Marshall County paid an attorney to cite legal precedent, state law and state attorney general opinions in a letter Fleming released that rejects the transparency request. Barnes said, "I want to know what you’re trying to hide.."

Barnes' request asked for:

  • Information related to the county's junk ordinances
  • Copies of citations issued under the junk ordinance.
  • Payroll records for enforcement officers.
  • Bid information for commissioner vehicles.
  • Contracts for commission copy machine service.
  • Records regarding a $1,000 anonymous donation to the Forest Service.

Said Wilson, "We understand the public’s right to review the records, and we believe in that right. We are going to get Ms. Barnes what she wants, but we have to also be aware that there are some things that are not for public access. In order to protect the rights of the rest of the public, we have to be sure it’s OK. We just need to be sure everything she’s asked for, we can give and that we’re in compliance with the law. If it’s something we can give to the public, she will be provided an opportunity to look at it and have copies, if she’d like."[4][5]

External links


References