The reply to my request for public records

On July 24, 2015, the City of Bellevue received your public records request. As an attorney with the City Attorney’s office, your request has been forwarded to me for a response. With regard to Request No. 1, for a copy of the comparative study the City used in collective bargaining agreement negotiations with the Bellevue Professional Management Association (“BPMA”), the City is denying this portion of your request as such records represent confidential, proprietary research and work product related to preparation for labor negotiations that are protected from disclosure pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-712.05(3) .and (4). With regard to Request No. 2, for information on who completed the comparability study and its cost, please see attached Agenda Item Cover Sheet for the council meeting on August 26, 2013 regarding the wage and benefit comparability study in preparation of labor negotiations. Accordingly, the comparability study was prepared by Paul Essman of Capital City Concepts L.L.C. for a fee of$31,000 plus expenses. Pursuant to the City’s Master Fee Schedule, you will be charged a records search fee of $5.00 for this request. With regard to Request No. 3, for legal fees charged to the City for the comparability study, the undersigned is not aware of any legal fees charged to the City for this specific purpose. However, additional time is needed in order to confirm the same. With regard to Request No. 4, for a complete breakdown of all legal fees that Baird Holm LLP (McQueen) and Adams & Sullivan, PC, LLO (Sullivan) charged to the City for working with the BPMA, additional time is needed in order for the City to fulfill your request because your request is too difficult and extensive to be fulfilled by today’s deadline. The information requested in Nos. 3 and 4 presumably pertain to legal fees incurred over a period of time spanning approximately five (5) years, as the previous collective bargaining agreement between the City and the BPMA expired April 30, 2010 and the new collective bargaining agreement was approved and ratified by City Council on June 22, 2015. In order to Page 1 of3 provide the information requested, such information will need to be compiled by the appropriate custodians of records, the City Attorney’s office and Baird Holm, respectively. Each firm issued monthly invoices spanning a period of approximately 47 months. As such, there may be over ninety (90) invoices which will need to be reviewed in order to provide the requested information. Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-712(3)(c), a special service charge reflecting the calculated labor cost for time required in excess of four (4) cumulative hours is necessary since your request is so large and may cause some delay or disruption of the other responsibilities of the custodian’s office. Assuming that each invoice takes five (5) minutes to review and compile the requested information, it is anticipated that a period of7.5 hours will be needed to fulfill your request. Based upon an hourly rate of $35.00 for the record custodians to go through all legal invoices during such time period, the cost of fulfilling these requests is estimated to be $122.00 ($262.00- $140.00). With regard to Request No. 5, for all dates and [illegible] of meetings between the City and the BPMA, additional time is needed in order for the City to fulfill your request because your request is too difficult and extensive to be fulfilled by today’s deadline. Again, your request pertains to a period of time spanning nearly five (5) years. Further, your request requires the members of the City’s negotiation team, namely legal counsel, to review all schedules, notes and correspondence in order to formulate the requested timeline of events. It is estimated that preparation of the requested timeline will take four (4) hours to prepare. Based upon a discounted hourly rate of $150.00 for the record custodians to prepare such timeline, the cost of fulfilling this request is estimated to be $600.00. Given the magnitude of your request and the estimated total fees in the amount of $727.00, the City will require a deposit of $727.00 to process your request. Upon receipt of the deposit, we will begin processing your request which may take as long as two (2) weeks. Please be advised that you have a period of ten (1 0) business days to modify your request, prioritize the items within your request, narrow or simplify your request, request that we fulfill your original request or withdraw your remaining request. The undersigned and Bellevue City Attorney Patrick J. Sullivan are responsible for the above decision. To the extent you determine that this is a denial of your request and any rights granted by Neb. Rev. Stat.§§ 84-712 et seq., you may elect to exercise the remedies set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-712.03, which is also enclosed for your review. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your public records requests or this decision, please direct them to my attention. Angela Forss

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