Jesus Christ, people... All the mayor is trying to do is have city employees spend less time helping certain assholes play gotcha with open records requests. God forbid someone look after your tax dollars by trying to bring a little efficiency to a clusterfuck of government waste caused by special interests.
Let me explain.
Let's start with the history. At some point a long time ago a law was put in place saying that a human could ask the government for all of their documents and correspondence. Fast forward to the great downtown ballpark fight of 2013. Wild-ass accusations were flying around like farts at a bean eating contest and someone decided to use the open records request law to prove those accusations to be true. Those accusations weren't true, but that one very public request for public records started a shit storm like you'd only see after a bean eating contest.
(Side note: Stop. Stop scrolling down to post a comment saying the "chucoleaks" produced anything. It didn't. You had one email where one person called two old, senile people "old and senile." Whoopty fucking doo!!! Somebody told the truth! Oh the horror! And the other email called a bunch crazy people... wait for it... "crazies." They were/are crazy and most of El Paso took comfort in the fact that someone was at least calling a spade a spade. Far too often these days are we speaking clearly about how we feel about others. If you show up to council meetings, act like and asshole and tell lies, you should be called a lying asshole. That's how you Make America Great Again.)
After that incident bloggers like Maxpowers and I took advantage of the ease of the electronic request system and threw out a few embarrassing emails here and there. However, some members of council also took advantage of the new found dirt digging tool and would leak documents to reporters from El Dario so they could turn around and ask for said document under an open records request and report on it. Essentially, council members started breaking the rules so reporters could figure how to get the information within the rules. The only problem was that in some cases reporters were asking for things discussed in executive session... A bigger problem is that the city would provide certain exec session items if the targets of the documents were on the wrong team... i.e. not on their team. The whole thing got ugly fast.
Fast forward to today. The city gets literally hundreds of open records requests a week from bloggers, crazies, concerned citizens and news outlets. Many of them are redundant. When KVIA gets some info that the El Paso Times doesn't have, the El Paso Times then sends a duplicate open records request to get the same information.
(They should do what I do - I just request all the ORRs the city has answered from the El Paso Times, Martian Paredes or whoever else. I get to see what they are seeing without even knowing what they asked for. I'm pretty smart for a stupid UTEP kid.)
The bottom line is that there is a ton of redundancy in answering these request and the mayor is just trying figure out how to streamline the process.
Now, I get that the news agencies don't want their hard work given to others (by hard work, I mean a member of city council emailing them all the documents from their private email account and instructing them on exactly how to ask for them under and an open records request. your local media could find a new story in a newspaper.).... I digress... However, each news agency needs to at some point realize that their requests aren't all that unique and some sharing could help city staff do other things like take car of taxpayer needs. And let's be honest, nobody at city hall puts anything in writing that could be of interest anymore. You can thank the crazies, Max and I for that. Unless you bugged the watercooler (or microwave), you're not getting anything interesting.
Beating up the mayor for trying to put more city staff on taxpayers needs is just stupid. If the public really knew how much time city council members spent playing little document leak games with each other, there'd be riots. All of this open record bullshit has culminated in a big fat nothing. I take that back. It has turned our elected officials into super secretive non-transparent paranoid weasels. Great job local press!
As for the El Paso Times subscription decline... it's not really their editorial page or lack of journalistic integrity. It's about old people dying off and young people getting their news in a different form. The newspaper just isn't what it once was to people.
Kind of makes me miss Strelzin in a way. Twice a week he'd declare he was cancelling his subscription right after his show was over. No one ever once dared to call in and say "didn't you already cancel it on Monday?"