- Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 18:34
- Published on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 18:34
- Hits: 423
Saturday May 9th was a sunny day with breezy conditions that brought out over 100 young people and their parents to the annual Youth Fishing Event. This is the third year it has been held at a private pond off Rt. 3 in King George County. King George Recreation Department partnered with the Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, and VDGIF to put on a great time for youngsters many of whom caught their first fish. Dicks Sporting Goods and NWTF helped sponsor the event by providing food and gear for the youngsters. Shakespeare donated many fishing outfits for new anglers too. There were many individuals who donated their time to make the event a success. Some of those that were on hand to assist included Nicole Paulsen, the KG Parks and Rec. staff, Buddy Fines, Senior Conservation Officer Spuchesi, Bob Wernsman, Stanely Burrel, Joe Hicks, Jared Vann and his father and many others.
This event is a success each year due to the hard work of those named above and others who want to introduce kids to the outdoors. The fishing started off a bit slow but quickly warmed up with many large bream and some very nice bass caught. By the end of the event many kids who had never cast a line on their own were casting their lines with skill and reeling in fish. Many thanks to those who came out to help out and hooked a few new anglers in the process.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2009 20:12
- Published on Wednesday, 06 May 2009 20:12
- Hits: 300
The first day of the Farmers Market in King George brought residents out to see what was available. Extension Agent Regina Prunty said there was a lot of traffic between 8 and 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Miles Hastings of Canning Farm had grain fed beef available. He is pictured with Steve Hickman, another Market vendor. Other vendors had some vegetables and plenty of plants. It is still early in the season for many locally grown vegetables and fruits. Prunty said that some visitors to the market held at King George Elementary School requested information about how to become vendors. She hopes to be able to form a co-op for local eggs. Local produce can also mean fish, seafood, bread, preserves, honey, etc. The Market will run through October 31. Watch The Journal for information about what will be available on future dates.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2009 15:45
- Published on Wednesday, 06 May 2009 15:45
- Hits: 275
Kilbourn wants 16 months of correspondence on financial topics from county administration
By Phyllis Cook
Payne Kilbourn, a member of the King George School Board, has continued his own correspondence with the county administration over his pending Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records request for more than 16 months of the correspondence of three members of the Board of Supervisors, two county officials and one former county administrator, from/to county officials, county citizens and others.
The correspondence that he is requesting goes back to January 1, 2008. Since his initial email request, he has sent two others that narrow the request to financial topics.
This week he was told by County Attorney Matt Britton that for county staff to undertake the massive records search Kilbourn has requested, he must first pay charges currently estimated at $1,784.
Kilbourn’s first request had simply requested, “Please send me all correspondence from/to Mr. Howard, Mr. Grzeika and Mr. Sisson, from/to county officials, from/to county citizens, from/to others, from 1 Jan 2008 to the present. Please send such information from 1 January 2009 to the present in a timely manner. Please send me all correspondence from/to Mr. Brian David, Mr. Travis Quesenberry, Ms. Donita Harper for the same dates. Please send such information from 1 January 2009 to the present as soon as possible.”
Kilbourn’s second email on the topic passed in the ether with Britton’s first response to deny the request, citing FOIA, which for an ordinary record request requires a public body to provide a document within five business days of receipt.
More than 16 months worth of correspondence even on a single topic is not an ordinary request.
Britton told Kilbourn, “Your request does not identify the records with reasonable specificity. Your request is vast in time (covering almost eighteen months) and is unlimited in scope.”
Britton also told Kilbourn that some of the documents requested could be subject to exemption as public documents.
In addition, Britton noted to Kilbourn in his first response to him that if he wished to persist in his request that he was put on notice that, “it is not practically possible to provide the requested records,” adding, “A request within the statutory timeframe to review this extraordinary volume of records requires an extraordinary lengthy search, preventing the County from meeting its operational responsibilities.”
Britton added, that should Kilbourn “wish to submit a revised and particularized request the County will reevaluate the timeframe in which it can respond, and provide an actual cost estimate.”
In the meantime, Kilbourn’s April 24 email was by way of a clarification and narrowed his request for records, saying, “Please allow me to clarify my request: it is for correspondence related to official duties only, and also, only for subject matter associated with county taxes, revenues, debt and expenditures.”
After Kilbourn got Britton’s first answer, he wrote a third time, reiterating his first request, clarifying it as noted above to financial matters, and also narrowing it slightly further by noting that he was not requesting correspondence that is “privileged by attorney-client privilege, and that are not of a purely personal nature, from 1 Jan 2008 to the present.”
He also said the correspondence he wanted from/to the three current or former county officials were only those, “written by them in their capacity as county employees.”
Under FOIA, he wouldn’t get those two types of correspondence anyway, since they are not included in the definition of public documents.
Here’s what Britton said in his second and most recent response to Kilbourn, dated May 5:
“Thank you for clarifying, specifying and narrowing your request. As I indicated in my last letter, even with your specifications, it is not practically possible to provide the requested records within the statutory timeframe. To review this extraordinary volume of records requires an extraordinary lengthy search, preventing the County from meeting its operational responsibilities.
“Finally, the County has determined in advance that charges of producing the requested records are estimated at $1,784.00. Please provide a deposit of this amount in advance to Travis Quesenberry.
“In the event that any documents are determined to be privileged and/or exempt from FOIA, and that the County does not wish to waive the same, I will provide you with the required log.”
The ball is now officially back in Kilbourn’s court.
He can write a check for $1,784 to proceed with his document request, or he can forget the whole thing and not respond.
Regardless of whether Kilbourn proceeds or not, he has already used up a fair amount of county staff time with the research required to come up with an estimated cost for his record search, in addition to two thoughtful written responses from the county attorney.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 April 2009 18:20
- Published on Wednesday, 29 April 2009 18:20
- Hits: 246
In perfect harmony
KGHS Concert & Jazz Ensemble performs at Master’s Banquet
On Friday, April 24, at the King George Lodge, number 314, the King George High School Concert & Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Aaron Noe, provided an evening of entertainment before an audience of Masons and music enthusiasts. “I have the best job in the world, because I teach the best students in King George High School every single day,” Noe said.
For years, Noe has broadened the music perspective of the KGHS band by taking them on field trips throughout the country.
The band performed a medley of music renditions originating from the theme Small Town Sketches, which featured the following pieces: Concert in the Park; Winter Walk in the Park; Friday Night Football Game; County Fair.
Speakers during the banquet featured Past Worthy Matron, Doris Upson, Reverend Dr. Larry Finch, Sr., pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, Past District Deputy and Grand Master, George Jackson, Past Master Darryl Scott, Minister Frankie White, Pastor Tyree Smith and Worshipful Master of King George Lodge number 314, Darrell W. Upson.
Proceeds raised during the event were donated to the King George High School music program. Throughout the 2008-2009 school year, the Mason Lodge and the King George School Board have collaborated on the projects including the Spelling Bee contest at King George Middle School and the Science Fair at Sealston Elementary School. Also, the Lodge has established a scholarship for this year’s graduating seniors at King George High School.
Brenda Collins provided food services for the banquet.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 April 2009 15:47
- Published on Wednesday, 29 April 2009 15:47
- Hits: 275
Kilbourn requests correspondence on financial topics for last 16 months
By Phyllis Cook
School Board member Payne Kilbourn made a FOIA request to the King George county administration last Thursday for a massive amount of documents.
His email request read:
“Please send me all correspondence from/to Mr. Howard, Mr. Grzeika and Mr. Sisson, from/to county officials, from/to county citizens, from/to others, from 1 Jan 2008 to the present.
Please send such information from 1 January 2009 to the present in a timely manner.
Please send me all correspondence from/to Mr. Brian David, Mr. Travis Quesenberry, Ms. Donita Harper for the same dates. Please send such information from 1 January 2009 to the present as soon as possible.”
He signed the request as a private citizen, not as an elected official, noting his address and phone number as 4504 Caledon Road, King George, VA 22485, 775-0245.
He added that he wanted the massive amount of documents sent electronically to his personal email address.
It’s not known why Kilbourn’s request only focuses on correspondence involving three of the five members of the Board of Supervisors, disregarding correspondence of Cedell Brooks, Jr., and James Mullen.
Kilbourn’s request for such a potentially massive amount of correspondence on all topics would have certainly elicited an initial response from the county to ask him for a $200 deposit just to start with, to begin to cover staff time for research, as allowed under FOIA.
But the next day, Friday, April 24, Kilbourn sent another email to county officials, this time considerably narrowing his initial request.
That second email to county officials said, “Please allow me to clarify my request: it is for correspondence related to official duties only, and also, only for subject matter associated with county taxes, revenues, debt and expenditures.” He added, “I should have included this clarification in the original request.”
Kilbourn has played a leading role in charging county officials with underfunding the School Board for the upcoming year and for the past couple of years when he has suggested that the Board of Supervisors should raise real estate taxes 25-30 percent to provide additional funding for the School Board.
We asked Kilbourn if he would provide a comment on his FOIA request to the county and he responded to The Journal, but said, “No comment.”
~ OTHER KILBOURN EMAIL Prior to emailing his FOIA request to the county, Kilbourn sent another email to his colleagues on the School Board and Superintendent Candace Brown.
That email outlined an attachment, saying, “A couple of you mentioned that it would be helpful to have some graphical depictions of various data that I cited in my paper on the school and county budgets.”
Kilbourn had supplied an op-ed piece published in The Journal last week, in addition to emailing a longer narrative on the topic of school funding in King George.
In this email, Kilbourn listed the subject matter of several bar charts, one pie chart and another slide with bulleted points. He told his recipients, “Please feel free to use these in printed form as you desire.” He added, “I have decided to copyright these slides.”
The information in the slides is public information available from the school division and the Virginia Department of Education.
Kilbourn also copied this reporter on his April 23 email.
In the body of the email, he stated, “For Ms. Cook: I am sending a copy of this email for your information. If you desire to forward or distribute the copyrighted attachment, please first seek my permission.”
We responded, saying that we would not use the slide attachment.
But we also told him, “But, I don’t think I need your permission to forward it along with your email, since under state law, your email and the attachment fit the definition of a public document under FOIA. In addition, your powerpoint itself may not actually be copyrightable, because it would likely not be deemed sufficiently original, since it constitutes facts already in the public domain. Also, Just about everything in most major publications is copyrighted. That doesn’t stop people from sharing that content without permission.”
County Attorney Matt Britton responded to Kilbourn’s request in a letter dated April 24:
“At this time the County must deny your request pursuant to Va. Code Section 2.2-3704(B). Your request does not identify the records with reasonable specificity. Your request is vast in time (covering almost eighteen months) and is unlimited in scope. In particular, while some of the documents that are encompassed in your vast request may be subject to Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), many are privileged. For instance, you request correspondence among “county officials,” which includes attorneys. In addition, while official correspondence is generally subject to FOIA, you request all documents to “citizens” and “others.” Certain personal correspondence is not subject to FOIA. By way of example, as currently stated, this request asks for letters to spouses and family members.”
Britton goes on to note that “A request within the statutory timeframe to review this extraordinary volume of records requires an extraordinary lengthy search, preventing the County from meeting its operational responsibilities.”