San Pablo Talk Back

San Pablo, California

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Posted by xaviervir on May 18, 2010

Much of the distrust and contempt for the San Pablo City Council is justified. They continue to not fully inform the people of what they are really doing.  They fail to post or mail out notices to all the people informing them of meetings and events.  They publish agendas to meetings that fail to provide needed information.  The destruction of public records is a case in point.  For several weeks now, City Hall has been destroying records of the Parks and Recreation Department.  This destruction of records continues.  What was not written on the agenda is the fact that  only the paper version of these records were being destroyed.  Before destruction, the records  are first transferred to CD’s.  The CD’s of all records  are  being kept at City Hall.  When I and others spoke out against the destruction of these records, no one on the City Council had the courtesy to mention that the records were being preserved on CD’s.  This fact was brought to my attention after last night’s meeting had ended and the new City Manager came over to me to explain that the records are still preserved.

The below e-mail messages are between Shelby and our new City Manager, Mr. Rodriguez:

From: shelby chapel
To: Matt Rodriguez <>
Sent: Mon, May 17, 2010 4:33:47 PM
Subject: Re: Destruction of Records

Matt: Thank you for clarifying this issue.  It was a matter of deep concern to a number of us. Perhaps in the future it  would alleviate confusion if the people were given full information so as not to draw their own conclusions.  As you may have gathered from the council meetings so far,  there is a paucity of trust in re the council and city employees. This is not recent.  I have been hearing about it for years.  It only needed an issue to break through.

I trust the documents in question will be at city hall tonight so that those who want to peruse them may do so.  I am requesting your response be posted on our blog.  In  fact, everything I receive is subject to being posted.   If you want to communicate with me without this consideration, you may call me .  But I prefer everything is ‘in the open’, so to speak.
PS: Why do I or anyone need a public records search to see or get a copy of records? And the cost?  Have we, the people not already paid for the paper, the ink, the time of the employees?  And we must pay again?  Brock charged me $10 for a CD.
I suggest there are few people here who are interested in city records and there would be little inconvenience or cost to make them free.  And it would be good for San Pablo’s reputation and, I dare say, a concrete gesture on your part to the people here.  There can be no “open government’ when people can not afford to get information.

From: Matt Rodriguez <>
To: shelby chapel
Cc: Brian Libow <>
Sent: Mon, May 17, 2010 3:01:40 PM
Subject: Destruction of Records


I just saw your email from last Thursday, 5/13/10.

Thanks for your inquiry regarding retention of public records in San Pablo.  It is indeed important to preserve the history of San Pablo and records which are relevant to the governance of the city.  Over the decades any organization has to deal with file storage needs.  In San Pablo, we have outgrown the capacity in City Hall to maintain storage of hundreds, even thousands, of file storage boxes.  It would cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars to lease space off-site to store these boxes, and such off-site storage would be extremely inconvenient to persons needing to inspect these records.  Current City practice is to “scan” old public records before destroying them.

Please rest assured that all these electronic records are available for inspection at city hall, to the extent that they would otherwise be available under state law.  Additionally, if you are concerned about Agenda Item No. 11 – Public Works Department Request for Destruction of Records these particular items have been scanned by the Department.  So, we are not “destroying” any records without first retaining these subject records in a much appropriate format for future public records requests, etc., if warranted.





13831 San Pablo Avenue

San Pablo, CA 94806

Office:   (510) 215-3016 | Mobile: (510) 932-3594 | Fax: (510) 620-0204




  1. […] ABOUT THOSE PUBLIC RECORDS « San Pablo Talk Back […]

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