The Georgia Department of Transportation-GaDOT  has refused reasonable and lawful requests for access to public records in legally requestable electronic form.

hit "refresh" or "reload" button to confirm you are reading "the latest episode!"

Below are copies of email to and from the GaDOT.

Please note that at the bottom of this page you may find hypertext references to relevant GA State Law.  

Links to Georgia First Amendment Foundation  and Caution Macon

Would you like to view a little more history of this problem?

Would you like to read a letter to the Editor of the Macon Telegraph about this saga?

I will link to "Georgia's Right to Know" - a 7 part Special Report by the Macon Telegraph, Atlanta JC and others begining on 12-12-99 when I locate it on the web.  

#1. -- 1st letter -----Original Message-----

From: Lindsay Holliday  Tuesday, July 13, 1999 11:32 PM

To: DOT Rowe <>, and David <>, maps <>, GIS manager Michael Gilbrook <>, NEPA wildlife bio ppoint Gene William E Keeler <>, Map Margaret M Ballard AICP <>, Court reporter Linda S Brabham <>  ,  Cc: Brian <>

>Subject: Peat deposits and info requests

I enjoyed seeing y'all at the EPE meeting tonight.

[see FAQ facts page concerning EPE - the Eisenhower Parkway Extension - editor's comment]

Dr Brian Rood at Mercer [see cc email] may have the GIS info you requested about the precise location of the peat deposits. I believe he already has some preliminary cores. I would like a copy of the analysis of the cores - if y'all are able to make them. They might be very informative.

I would also like a copy of the court reporters transcript and any other reports and raw data which you may type concerning the meeting. [In text.txt format please]

Thank-you all,


[please remember how sweet and helpful I am in this letter.  I am afraid that I began to demonstrate a harder edge as the saga wore on - Lindsay Holliday - editor of this page]

letter/corespondence #2.  7/15/99

At 10:24 AM 7/15/99 -0500, Ken Anderson wrote:

Dr. Holliday:

Thank you for the information regarding location of peat deposits. I noticed Dr. Rood conversing with several of the Brockington staff at the public meeting, and follow-up is occurring. Thank you also for your attendance and comments at the PIM.

Regarding your recent email requests for information, the Georgia DOT requests that you submit your requests in writing to Mr. David E.Studstill, State Environmental/Location Engineer, Georgia Dept. of Transportation, 3993 Aviation Circle, Atlanta, GA 30336.

The slideshow presentation will be posted to the project website at in the next several days. We will also be posting the TCP DOE on the website in the near future. In the meantime, copies of the DOE are available for viewing at the Macon Main Library and at the the Ocmulgee National Monument. If you would like a hardcopy of the DOE, please indicate that in your written request.


Ken Anderson

HDR Study Manager

3.  July 15, 1999

From: Lindsay Holliday []

Sent: Thursday, July 15, 1999 4:39 PM

To: Anderson, Ken      Subject: Re: FW: Peat deposits and info requests

Mr. Anderson,

Thank-you. I look forward to the posting. I hope the format will be .html so that any internet browser will be able to read it.

The [web-posted] EPE newsletter is [are you aware?] not easily readable. It is in fact very difficult - unless you own a high speed connection and a late model computer. It requires a LARGE download of an "active content" zipfile. Then it also requires that the end-user to go to another website and download an "active content" program file - and install that program onto their computer - in order to simply read the EPE news..

I am requesting that HDR make all this public information available as .htm or .html or as a text.txt type of files.

Thank-you again.


#4.   7/15/99

At 04:44 PM 7/15/99 -0500, "Anderson, Ken" <> wrote:

Thanks for your comments... we don't get feedback on the "user-friendliness" of the website, and it's important to hear about it.

The slideshow is now posted on the website in html format. If you have had trouble downloading before, you may still find it somewhat problematic, although these files are not as large as were posted for the March public info meeting. Please let me know.

Re: the newsletter, the current newsletter is posted as both PDF and html versions.

The back issues of the newsletter are PDF because they are small, generally easy and quick to download, PC/MAC compatible, and are accessed via Acrobat reader, which is free and available from our website and millions others.  Our computer guys also tell me that html files are not particularly printer friendly.

Thanks again.

Ken Anderson

5.    July 16, 1999

From: Lindsay Holliday - Friday, July 16, 1999 10:53 AM  To: Anderson, Ken

Cc: 'Walker, Lesa'; 'Studstill, David';

Subject: RE: FW: Peat deposits and info requests

Thank-you for your prompt response.  I revisited a page of the current newsletter:

First let me congratulate the webmaster for:

1- It looks exactly like the newsletter - and this is certainly an important goal.

2- So, esthetically it IS user friendly - no one has to guess how you presented your news.

The problems are that :

1- The text there is unavailable for a commentator [such as myself] to "cut and paste" - which is neccesary - for a proper dialogue.

2- The text is in .gif [a picture] format which is a large/bulky file which takes a Lot Longer to download than the text.txt - The text being the truely important stuff in our debate about the best transportation alternatives.

3- Acrobat reader, while a nice and free program, is an unneccesary step - unavailable to many [on WebTV for example]. Thus, people could misconstrue your PDF posting as not being a sincere desire to share information.

Perhaps your webmaster could post it in both formats - the best of both worlds?  I really do need the text version of all of your newsletters.

Thank-you for your kind attention.


PS - The slide show is great - it will definitely help us all to start from the same page/pictures.

When I saw the idyllic image at I cracked a BIG grin - to find out why - please visit the painting at

This 6 foot large masterpiece would look fantastic hanging in your lobby! : ) : )

#6.      July 16, 1999

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 16:28:11 -0500 "Anderson, Ken" wrote:

Cc: "'Walker, Lesa'" <>, "'Studstill, David'" <>, "'Bowen, Rowe'"   <>

Subject: RE: FW: Peat deposits and info requests

You are able to copy and paste off the current newsletter as follows: look at the bottom of the "newsletters" webpage. If you click on one of the blue hover buttons, the page comes up in html format. By clicking directly on the document, you can copy text off the document and paste to whatever other document you choose. By design, you won't be able to edit the newsletter directly on the website.

For past issues of the newsletter which are "archived", only the PDF files have been retained, I assume as a means of simpifying the site. Anyway, I won't be bringing them back up as html on the website. If you want them as text files, please request them in writing along with the other items you've indicated over the last several days.

Thanks for the connection to the painting of the "Atlanta-iztion of Macon" - much bolder and brighter than our series of the various levels of service on slides 21 and 22. I've seen others similar to it .... seems the artists just change the name to fit the local situation.


Ken Anderson

#7.   July 17, 1999

From: Lindsay Holliday Saturday, July 17, 1999 9:20 PM

To: Anderson, Ken

Cc: 'Walker, Lesa'; 'Studstill, David'; 'Bowen, Rowe'

Subject: RE: FW: Peat deposits and info requests

This email is my "request in writing" for the text of all the current and previous EPE newsletters.

you wrote:

>>>"By clicking directly on the document, you can copy text off the document and paste to whatever other document you choose."

I have already "Been there and done tried that".

Should I be speaking directly with your webmaster? I can speak webgeek lingo. I wrote all the webpages on my site - I know html. The simple instructions you provided below do not work as advertised. Try it yourself.



PS "Atlanta-iztion of Macon" is original fine art - nothing extant comes close to a close viewing of this work. If you see another work that appears to be a copy - I would appreciate a tip on its location. Thanks again. : )

8 . Mon, 19 Jul 1999     16:08:38 -0500

Ken Anderson wrote:

Cc: "'Walker, Lesa'" <>, "'Studstill, David'"   <>, "'Bowen, Rowe'"   <>

Subject: RE: info requests

Dr. Holliday:

At the Department's direction, the newsletters have been converted to plain text .txt files and are attached to this e-mail message. They were originally in Microsoft Publisher format; I do not know specifically what formatting has been lost in the translation process.  [the reader may observe that these files were NOT converted and they remained encrypted. - editor's comment]

Per your other requests, the Department has also directed that I send you hard copies of the comments sheets received at the public meeting and the court reporters transcript. These items are only available as hard copy format.

[This is partly false - the court reporters transcript was originally typed. And is still available. And it is currently in their hands as plain computer text. - editor's comment]

Regarding copying from the website, I was able to click, copy and paste from the website to a MS Word document.

[This is irrelevant - MS Word can cut and paste pictures.  Pictures-of-words are not text files. Some of these engineers at HDR and GaDOT appear to be  "playing dumb".  They have the best and most expensive computers in the world!  And they are the most "computer literate" typists too!  They are trained at GA Tech to write programs.  Some of them are trained to design computer hardware!  IMHO, they may be cynically pretending to help, when in fact they know that the emails they are sending me contain No useful information. - editor's comment]


Ken Anderson


Dear Mr. Anderson,

If what I see below is "Text", then I guess I'm asking for something else.  

Can you help me with this?

Can you read the info sent below? Is it encrypted? Do I need a password and a decoder? [If it helps you, I can accept other formats too - including .htm or .html or .doc or .wpd or .rtf in addition to the .txt - none of which looks like the stuff they told you to send to me]

The court reporters transcripts are all available in electronic form - I know this because I have spoken with each of them at the meetings. They have not given them to you on diskette only for the reason because you have never requested them to. And I guess you never asked them to because they never volunteered that that format was available? All the old stuff is still available - archived on their PCs and floppies.


-Lindsay Holliday

[They had sent nonsense text - an example is this:

>begin 600 Vol 1 Issue 1_text.txt




This garbage went on for more than 1000 lines! ]

10.   7/20/99

At 05:53 AM 7/20/99 -0500, Anderson, Ken wrote:

Cc: 'Walker, Lesa'; 'Studstill, David'; 'Bowen, Rowe'

The same files have been converted to Word 6.0/95 documents below.

11.   July 20, 1999

From: Lindsay Holliday Tuesday, July 20, 1999 9:04 AM

To: Anderson, Ken

Cc: 'Lindsay Holliday'; 'Walker, Lesa'; 'Studstill, David'; 'Bowen, Rowe'


What mail program are you using?   Can any of y'all read the info below?

[AGAIN - They had sent nonsense text - an example is this:

>begin 600 Vol 1 Issue 1_text.txt




This garbage went on for more than 1000 lines! ]

12.  Tue, 20 Jul 1999

On Tue, 20 Jul 1999 10:58:25 -0500, Ken Anderson <> wrote:

To: Lindsay Holliday

Cc: "'Walker, Lesa'" <>

Subject: RE: info requests

I've provided the 5 newsletters on disk in .txt and .doc format to Georgia DOT along with the hard copies of the PIM # 2 comments and the court reporter transcript for PIM # 2. Georgia DOT will handle forwarding to you.

[what ever happened to the "5 newsletters on disk in .txt and .doc format"?  I never saw or heard of this again. - editor]

I'm using MS Outlook. GDOT has no problems opening any of the files sent via e-mail; problem might be with your unencoder/translator.

Ken Anderson

#13.   7/21/99

At 05:07 PM 7/21/99 -0400, wrote:

Cc: "Aponte, Dania" <>, "Studstill, David" <>, "''" <>

Dr. Holliday,

The information you requested is available for your review, however; there is an administrative cost of $69.50 for the copies, the diskette and the labor incurred.

An invoice is included in your package with the specified charges outline.

Before I FED-EX I wanted to notify you of these charges.


Lesa Walker


From: Lindsay Holliday  

Ms. Walker,

Before I agree to the charges, I would appreciate knowing how many files I am getting.

I have asked for a lot. How much of my requests are on the disk(s)? Can you send me a file list? Or maybe the tentative invoice?

Thank-you very much for your help.

-Lindsay Holliday

15.     7/22/99

At 01:21 PM 7/22/99 -0400, Walker, Lesa wrote:

Cc: "''" <>,   "Aponte, Dania"   <>, "Studstill, David" <>

Dr. Holliday,

I would be happy to fax you a copy of the invoice itemizing the charges for the material you requested.

[I had NEVER requested paper copies, which, unknown to me at this time - is exactly what they were trying to get me to agree to Pay for.  A "Pig in a Poke" is what they were selling! "Bait and Switch"- editor's comment]

Please e-mail your fax number and I will send the invoice immediately.

Thank you

Lesa Walker

#16.    July 22, 1999

From: Lindsay Holliday  - Thursday, July 22, 1999 6:57 PM

To: Walker, Lesa

Ms. Walker,

I do have a fax - but I want this invoice info inside my email. Can you please send me the invoice by email?

By the way, You might find it interesting to visit this page:

[The text file above was provided by the same court reporters who covered all the DOT meetings requested. - editor's comment]

The text in it was provided by the Macon-Bibb Co RIP. Why don't y'all just publish all the info I need just like that?


-Lindsay Holliday

17.    7/26/99

At 10:29 AM 7/26/99 -0400, Walker, Lesa wrote:

Cc: "Studstill, David" <>, "Aponte, Dania" <>, Ken  <>, Mark <>

Dr. Holliday,

Here's the break down of the cost for preparing the information in your open records request: 56 copies @ $.25 per page for a total of $14.00 this includes the hearing transcript and comments received at the Public Information Meeting (PIM); 1 diskette with all five newslettters @ $12.00 for a total of $12.00 and an adminstration fee @3.75 hours @ $11.60 per hour at a cost of $43.50. The total amount due will be $69.50. It actually took 4 hours to compile and copy the information but in accordance with the Department's Manual of Guidance (MOG) there is no administrative charge for the first fifteen minutes. The above information details the costs incurred for preparing your request.

I hope the above information clarify your concerns regarding the charges for your open records request.


Lesa Walker

#18.    Monday, July 26, 1999

From: Lindsay Holliday []

To: Walker, Lesa

Cc: Studstill, David; Aponte, Dania; ''; ''

Dear Ms. Walker,

Thank-you for clarifying the invoice. It appears from the invoice that my requests are not being understood. I do not want any photocopies at this point. Nor can I use the newsletters in an unspecified format.

I know I've said all this before, but - acceptable [universal] formats are demonstrated below:

1- I am hereby sending you an example of an attached document file: "TCP-Determ2.rtf" then please visit the page below:

I developed it from two files I requested/recieved from ONM a few days ago.

2- I am also referencing for you an example of a well-written-text-version-web-page-html-newsletter:

Why don't y'all write and post such a concise, compact, easy format newsletter?

[the question above has Never been answered - editor's comment]

3- I am also referencing a text.txt internet post:

The text in it was provided by the Macon-Bibb Co RIP. At no charge.. The court reporters transcripts are ALL available in electronic form - I know this because I have spoken with each of them at the meetings. If they have not given them to you on diskette, it is only for the reason because you have never requested them to. And I guess you never asked them to because they never volunteered that that format was available? All the old stuff is still available - archived on their PCs and floppies.

Phew! It is so HOT outside! Fine desk jobs like y'all got must be the envy of the rest of the GA-DOT.. [this was during a Catagory 5 Heat Wave - also the air outside was failing to meet EPA standards. - editor's comment]

Why don't y'all just publish all the info I need just like that above?  I bet you could do it all in less that 15 minutes - The Ocmulgee National Monument and the Macon/Bibb RIP did! And they did not charge me a dime!

Thank-you and stay cool,

-Lindsay Holliday

#19.     Thu, 29 Jul 1999      09:30:10 -0400

DOT employee Lesa Walker <> responds to earlier requests

To: 'Lindsay Holliday' <>

Cc: "Aponte, Dania" <>, "Studstill, David" <>, <>, <>

Subject: RE: Projec FLF-540(16, 17) and NH-16-1(91), Bibb Co.

Dear Dr. Holliday:

The Department's Legal Affairs Office has given guidance in responding to request to receive information in a specific format. This guidance addresses your request as it relates to providing information in a specific format. It is as follows: If the information requested is in computer format we are required to give it to the individual in that format. We are not required to generate a new format or convert existing data into computer format if it does not already exist.

[Here Ms. Walker is begging the question of the nonsense-computer-code, which they sent me earlier - see examples above in letter dated July 20.  We are left with her impression that by sending out coded and encrypted-files that she has somehow fulfilled the law.

And, it appears that they have indeed already changed the formats.  They have changed into encrypted and picture formats. Done for the reason to create another hurdle for the public to jump over.   How do we know this?  Because the court reporters submit their work to the DOT in .txt !  - editor's comment]

If you are still interested in receiving the information as prepared, I will send out as soon as I get a response from you.

Thank you,

Lesa Walker

[Their Response is NOW Delinquent under GA Law - editor]

20.    At 10:13 AM    8/13/99

Lindsay Holliday wrote:

>This is a repeat of same letter sent 5 days ago:

>Dear Ms. Walker,

The court reporter has informed me that she has sent the GA DOT the transcripts of the last public meeting. The disk was also sent to DOT.

This information can be emailed to me a little or no trouble.

The EPE Eisenhower Parkway Extension project is unusual in its potential destruction of International [Native American] Relationships. Not to mention our Ocmulgee National Monument resources. And the increased floodway obstructions during and after construction. This is why the DOT is under unusually strict federal rules for both disclosure and public involvement.

It baffles me why the DOT continues to be so reluctant to fulfill its obligation for public information and involvement.

Please let me know if you will not be able to send the information as requested within three working days.


Lindsay Holliday

21.      August 27th, 1999

[Their Response is now again {additionally} delinquent under GA Law - editor]

Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 07:55:46 -0700

To: "Walker, Lesa" <>, "Studstill, David" <>, "''" <>, "''" <>,   Marvin <>, "Aponte, Dania" <>

From: Lindsay Holliday <>

Subject: Re: Request for public info: Projec FLF-540(16, 17) and NH-16-1(91), Bibb Co.

Cc:,, Robert Reichert <>,,

Dear All:

To date I have recieved No response from these requests below.

I am hereby asking you again, each collectively and individually, to comply with Georgia State Law.

Specifically I am asking the following people to produce the documents requested: Lesa Walker of GaDOT, David Studstill of GaDOT, Mr. M. Ballard of HDR, Inc. Mr K. Anderson of HRD, Inc., Dania Aponte of GaDOT.

I will thank you all for your cooperation.


Lindsay Holliday

[Their Response is now again {additionally x 2 } delinquent under GA Law - editor]

22.              Thu, 9 Sep 1999

From: "Walker, Lesa" <>  

Cc: "Studstill, David" <>,   "Aponte, Dania"   <>,   "D'Avino, Gail" <>,   "''"   <>

Dr. Holliday,

I will be happy to send you a copy of the disk with the transcript from the public information meetings. As stated in my 7-29-99 correspondence, the Department is not required to generate a new format or convert existing data into a specific format if it does not already exist. If you want the diskette with the information, please remit $12.00 for the cost of the disk.

Once payment is received, the information will be sent to you.


Lesa Walker

23.     Fri, 10 Sep 1999

to: "Walker, Lesa" <>, "Studstill, David" <>, "Aponte, Dania"

<>, "D'Avino, Gail" <>, "''" <>, ,

cc   Marvin <>,, David <>, Susan Cable <75757.407@>, Robert Reichert <>,,,

bcc - Too Numerous to Count [TNC - a term in Microbiology used when counting bacterial colonies; it indicates an explosive overgrowth; a non-suseptibility to a specific antibiotic]

Ms. Walker,

I have received your offer below [now it is above] to mail me the files on computer disc at a fee of $12.

How much less effort and expense would it be for you to attach these files to the Return of my E-mail?

This letter is a (another and additional) formal request to you all, for compliance under current Georgia State Law (code 50-18) for the information requested. Please email the files to me.


Lindsay Holliday

PS - for a history of this request - [the address of this page]

#24   Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999

JOHN IRWIN  - - - Requests

From: "Walker, Lesa" <>  To: "''" <>

Cc: "D'Avino, Gail" <>, "Aponte, Dania" < Subject: RE: <B> Request for e-mail of PIM transcript for FLF-540(17(16) &   NH-16-1(91), Bibb

Dear Mr. Irwin

In an effort to honor e-mail request from citizens, this office has made an attempt in the recent past to accommodate a request for information to be electronically mailed. It took several days to get the information formatted into a readable text when receiving this information. I know that e-mailing seems to be a simple way to transmit requests but there are differences in computer system programs that are not compatible and often times requires an excessive amount of manpower to find and correct the problem. As stated in one of my previous e-mails the Georgia Open Records Act, Article 4, 50-18-70(g)states that "At the request of the person, firm, corporation, or other entity requesting such records, records maintained by computer shall be made available where practicable by electronic means,including Internet access, subject to reasonable security restrictions preventing access to nonrequested or nonavailable records." Based on previous experience, providing you a diskette is the most practicable way. Therefore, if you want the information, I would be happy send it upon receipt of the $12.00.

-----Original Message-----

From: [] Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 1999 3:36 PM

To: Subject: <B> Request for e-mail of PIM transcript for FLF-540(17(16) & NH-16-1(91), Bibb

I pay taxes in the state of Georgia.I don't understand why I should pay $12.00 for something that you could send me for nothing.Simply because you are not "required" to do something does not dictate that it cannot be done.Is this how government employees paid by tax payers dollars are  "required"to respond to inquiries by the public?

Once again I am requesting that you e-mail me the information I have requested.THIS IS THE CHEAPEST WAY POSSIBLE IS IT NOT?

Thank you


#25    01 Oct 1999

[Their Response is now again {additionally and more than x 3} delinquent under GA Law - editor]

To: Lesa Walker <  Date: Fri, 01 Oct 1999 11:31:46 -0400

From: Lindsay Holliday <>

Subject: FOI - Want to Thank You - Requests for e-mail of PIM transcripts

FOI - Freedom Of Information requests are documented at

Dear Ms. Walker,

I really would like to thank you for sending me the information that we have been requesting.

Unfortunately, we have not yet received this material. Please send it so that I may thank you...

Please do what is right. Do what is legal. Treat us as you would have us treat a hapless, powerless member of your own. WWJD? [what would Jesus do] is a useful director for some who may not have already a strongly internalized ethical decision making habit.

As a dentist, I am faced with technical and ethical dilemas every day.. and "bad outcomes". The only way I can retain my integrity thru this quagmire of confusion and pain is to focus on treating each human as if they were one of my family. This does take a lot of effort sometimes. But the payoff is that I have no lasting regrets and no lawsuits.

I am asking you to consider our request as though it came from a close member of your own family.

It is Not my place to preach at you. Copy this letter to your minister, rabbi or other guru. Let them advise you. I invite them to contact me or the minister of my congregation which has passed several resolutions regarding the ethical dimensions of roadbuilding issues. Even, and sometimes especially, the atheists and pagans in my congregation believe in ethics and principles of morality. You too want to do better.

Mr. John Irwin [letter below {see letter #24 above}] and I, each voice the opinion of several hundred taxpayers who lawfully desire and request this information to be delivered as requested by the simplest and most convenient and least expensive method available to you. May I offer to be of technical assistance to you? I can explain this process by telephone, and/or I am able to travel to your office to demonstrate it. Please allow me to help you if my knowledge is needed to help you comply with Georgia law.

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful consideration.

- Lindsay Holliday


Copies of this letter have been sent to:

Lesa Walker <>, David Studstill <>,, Dania Aponte <>, Gail D'Avino <>, Ken Anderson <>, , Michael Gilbrook <>, Gene William E Keeler <>, Margaret M Ballard AICP <>,,, Marvin <>,, Ga Rep David <>, Ga Senator Susan Cable <75757.407@>, Rep Robert Reichert <>,,, WMAZtv Yolanda Hawkins <>,

bcc blind copies are too numerous to list.

I look forward to thanking you all.

#26 - snail mail  December 2, 1999 from David E Studstill, PE State Environmental/Location Engineer "Second Request" Ga DOT  Office of Environment/Location 3993 Aviation Circle  Atlanta GA 30336-1593 {see a photocopy of this letter size 68Kb}

[Their Response is now again {additionally and more than x 4} delinquent under GA Law - editor]

Dear Dr. Holliday,

Attached is a copy of invoice AS-0771 {size 97 KB} dated July 21, 1999 in the amount of $69.50.  This is to advise you that payment has not been recieved for services rendered.  .....{I have never asked for photocopies, nor mimeographs, nor carbon copies, nor chiseled stone tablets, nor anything produced by a "typewriter". - see letters 13-18 above}

If you have any problems with this invoice, please contact Sherrie Dowda 404-699-6864.  Thank-you.

Very Truly Yours, David E Studstill, PE  State Environmental/Location Engineer  "Second Request"  {"Second request" is misleading.  I have never recieved a "first request" from Mr. Studstill.  This bogus billing is illegal. I find it to be personally harrassing.  It borders on extortion. }

- - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

#27 - Jan 3rd  2000 from Lindsay Holliday to:

David E Studstill, PE State Environmental/Location Engineer Ga DOT Office of Environment/Location 3993 Aviation Circle Atlanta GA 30336-1593 - cc to,,

Dear Mr. Studstill,

What gives you the right to attempt to bill me {see above} for a product I never requested?  Nothing.  

What gives me the right to electronic copies delivered by the most economical methods?  GA State Law.  

The bureaucracy in your department has behaved towards me with inexcusably poor service, waste and inefficiency.

Please do not use another snail-mail-licked-stamped-glued-enveloped-typewritten-inked-signed-folded-bleached-wood-product-stationary-missive to contact me. I have ample examples that you and I both have communicated with each other by email.

I have received the obsolete letter [you] mailed to me dated 12-2-99. It would have served [you] nicely 1 year ago. Under the GA Code it is now unlawful for [you] to deliberately use a more expensive method to send me information. This includes any replies [you] may send to me concerning my very public requests.

Snail mail seems in this case to be an intentional effort to slow and obfuscate the flow of public information. The time has come for [you] to either post this requested public information on the Internet or to email the files for me to do the same. Your bureaucracy has 3 days to comply under GA law.

I have photocopied and posted your letter to the Internet. There you may read my full response:

I look forward to a more open and honest exchange with your department.

Thank you.

- Lindsay Holliday

{I have additional earlier requests for other information in 1998, which were also unanswered}

* * * * * * * * * *

Below are exchanges with an unsympathetic employee at the GA State Attorney's office:

* * * * * * * * * *

letter # B1.

>> >From: Cathy Cox-Brakefield <Cathy.Cox-Brakefield@LAW.State.GA.US>

>> >To: 'Lindsay Holliday' <>

>> >Cc: "''" <>, "''" <>

Subject: RE: Request for public info: Projec FLF-540(16, 17) and NH-16-1 (91), Bibb Co.

Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 09:33:19 -0400

>> >Mr .(Dr.?) Holliday: I have received your e-mails to DOT. As I discussed in our earlier telephone conversation, nothing in the Open Records Act requires DOT to obtain discs of transcripts simply because that is what you prefer and believe more appropriate. I am not aware of any failure to produce the documents you have asked for that DOT has in its possession. They will be produced at the DOT offices where they are normally maintained for your inspection. If you desire copies, those will be provided upon your payment of the appropriate costs. If you have any questions, please call me at (404)656-3343. Thank you,

>> Cathy Cox-Brakefield


>> From: Lindsay Holliday - Friday, September 03, 1999 1:05 PM

>> To:; Walker, Lesa; Aponte,  Dania; Studstill, David; ''; ''; '' Cc: Marvin; David; Susan Cable; Robert Reichert;;

Dear Ms Cox-Brakefield,

You have been misled. You may have been lied to. For it is clear in your Tue, 31 Aug 1999 09:33:19 -0400 letter to me that your contacts at the GaDOT have not given you these facts:

1- They have always had the information I have requested.

2- They have it ALREADY in the format I have requested.

3- I NEVER requested ANY photocopies - All requests have been for email/electronic.

4-Any one of them could have sent me the requested file with 5 clicks of the mouse on their computers: Click on "Reply" to my letters then "Attach File" then "Browse/Find" then select the "File Name" then "Send. " All this done in less time than it took Ms. Walker to find the correct postage by weighing the pile of photocopies which I never request in the first place. Not to mention the time and expense of procuring paper, photocopying, collating, packaging, addressing, stamping, delivering to postal service where begins a much longer list of transportation steps of snail mail leading eventually [maybe] to my mailbox.

You already know that GA law stipulates that the records are to be (re) produced by the "most economical method". In the case above - This means by email.

And to my over-worked and under-paid acquaintances at DOT: GA law provides for personal fines EVERY time that you do not produce within 3 days the requested records. The DOT does not pay the fine for you. Your legal advisor is not responsible for payments. [Though you could later sue your advisors to recover damages/fines that you may have had to pay due to their bad advice.]

Finally, I am AGAIN requesting all court reporter's original text electronic files to be sent to me by return email. This request is for ALL the public hearings held in Bibb county concerning our Road Improvement Program at which the GaDOT has been present. This request is to each of you addressed in the "To:" field above.


Lindsay Holliday

PS. Have a nice Labor Day weekend. Weekends and holidays do not accrue towards the 3 day legal limit to respond.

PPS: Appendix of GA Law is below: [see bottom of this page]



At 03:04 PM 9/3/99 -0400, Cathy Cox-Brakefield wrote:

>Dr. Holliday: Since all the information I have received has been from you, [ implying here that she has not contacted the GaDOT; but look who she's been sending cc.s to on  31 Aug. - editor] I don't think that I have been lied to. The statute allows that you either receive copies or come receive information that is already available electronically in THAT same fashion. I have not seen anyevidence that the Open Records Act has been violated.  ["Has she read the law?" - from one of my proofreaders. - editor]


Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 16:02:37 -0400 (EDT)

To: Cathy Cox-Brakefield <Cathy.Cox-Brakefield@LAW.State.GA.US>

CC: "Walker, Lesa" <>, "Aponte, Dania" <>, "Studstill,  David" <>, "''" <>, "''" <>, "''" <>, Marvin  <>, David <>, Susan Cable <75757.407@>, Robert Reichert <>,,,

Dear Ms. Cox-Brakefield,

Neither I nor my wife [who majored in English] understand what this [your] sentence means:

"The statute allows that you either receive copies or come receive information that is already available electronically in THAT same fashion."

Would you please clarify your meaning?

I do know that the DOT has a computer disk THAT contains public information from a public hearing THAT was typed by a court reporter. THAT is what I have asked to be copied and sent to me. GA law clearly supports my request and it provides penalties for non-compliance. Please note the statutes quoted below.


Lindsay Holliday

PS. I have recieved this feedback from another taxpayer: "Isn't this an example of what bureaucrats love. Lose the point in the minutae. The gov. has sent a clear message about public records/meetings/information and perhaps it is time to call his office."

Selected excerpts of Georgia State Law

>> See GA Code Section 50-18-71 G

(e) An agency shall utilize the most economical means available for providing copies of public records.

(f) Where information requested is maintained by computer, ...



(a) The superior courts of this state shall have jurisdiction in law and in equity to entertain actions against persons or agencies having custody of records open to the public under this article to enforce compliance with the provisions of this article. Such actions may be brought by any person, firm, corporation, or other entity. In addition, the Attorney General shall have authority to bring such actions, either civil or criminal, in his or her discretion as may be appropriate to enforce compliance with this article.

(b) In any action brought to enforce the provisions of this chapter in which the court determines that either party acted without substantial justification either in not complying with this chapter or in instituting the litigation, the court shall, unless it finds that special circumstances exist, assess in favor of the complaining party reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred. Whether the position of the complaining party was substantially justified shall be determined on the basis of the record as a whole which is made in the proceeding for which fees and other expenses are sought.

(c) Any agency or person who provides access to information in good faith reliance on the requirements of this chapter shall not be liable in any action on account of having provided access to such information.


>> Following is from recently passed HB 279, effective July 1 of this year. If I understand this correctly, in cases of where state and local govt keep the data in electronic form, it must be placed on their existing web site (if they have one) upon request. Anyone know anything to the contrary?

3- 3 (g) At the request of the person, firm, corporation, or

3- 4 other entity requesting such records, records maintained

3- 5 by computer shall be made available where practicable by

3- 6 electronic means, including Internet access, subject to

3- 7 reasonable security restrictions preventing access to

3- 8 nonrequested or nonavailable records."


Section 5

>> 25 "50-18-74.

26 (a) Any person knowingly and willfully violating the

27 provisions of this article by failing or refusing to

28 provide access to records not subject to exemption from

29 this article or by failing or refusing to provide access

30 to such records within the time limits set forth in this

31 article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon

32 conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed

33 $100.00.

34 (b) A prosecution under this Code section may only be

35 commenced by issuance of a citation in the same manner as

36 an arrest warrant for a peace officer pursuant to Code

37 Section 17-4-40, which citation shall be personally served

38 upon the accused. The defendant shall not be arrested

39 prior to the time of trial, except that a defendant who

40 fails to appear for arraignment or trial may thereafter be

41 arrested pursuant to a bench warrant and required to post

42 a bond for his or her future appearance."


back to top

Links to: CAUTION Macon,

If you believe the public has a right to public records, and/or are willing to help, please send me an email.

Thank-you,  Lindsay Holliday