Mar 10, 2015

Commissioners dislike online info

Public information shouldn’t be too public, a couple Park County commissioners say.

Commissioners Lee Livingston and Tim French said last week that they wish information about property ownership within the county wasn’t online.

The information, which includes homes’ assessed values, taxes and sketch plans, was put on the county’s website four years ago by Park County Assessor Pat Meyer and Treasurer Barb Poley.

A couple Park County commissioners don't like the public information that's displayed on the county's MapServer service.
“I just think, if you allow that stuff to be easily accessible via the Internet, you’re just compounding the potential for abuse and wrecks on down the road,” Livingston said.

“It’s all public information,” Poley noted later.

“I still don’t have to agree with it,” responded French. He suggested the commissioners may speak with Meyer about the online access.

The subject came up because the county is mulling how best to digitize and preserve its massive collection of old, deteriorating paper records in the clerk’s office (things like deeds, liens and mortgages). Converting the paper records to digital ones will likely cost more than $100,000.

Livingston and French said they support preserving the records, but don’t support making them available to the public over the Internet.

Commissioner Bucky Hall wondered if he’ll end up being the determining vote among the five commissioners.

Clerk’s records for more recent years are already in a digital format. Online access to the iDoc database costs $100 a year or can be accessed for free with computers in the clerk’s office.

Clerk Colleen Renner has said she’d like to restore free online access to the database.

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