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Calling it personal may send the wrong message

troxler
TROXLER
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By HOWARD TROXLER

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 5, 2001


True news item: The city of Clearwater says the public is not entitled to see "personal" e-mail messages to and from city workers on city computers.

* * *

To: Public Works
From: City Manager
Re: Personal

I see we are running way behind schedule in our construction plans. Also, our costs are running way over budget. The City Commission would lay a brick if it found out.

Oh, yeah, how are the kids?

* * *

To: City Manager
From: Public Works
Re: Personal

Thanks for asking! Freddie is 7 now and he's doing great in school, and little Nestor is 14 months and really scooting around the house.

With all due respect, it's not our fault that you insisted we hire your brother-in-law for the job.

* * *

To: Legal Department
From: Police Department
Re: Personal

Say, that's an awfully snappy suit you're wearing today. Did you buy that in town?

Enclosed please find the 246th lawsuit filed over the traffic roundabout. Maybe those idiots on the commission will do something about this now.

(P.S. We assume that part about the "idiots" falls under the "personal" exemption to the Public Records Law, right?)

* * *

To: Police Department
From: Legal Department
Re: Personal

Absolutely exempt! Otherwise, how could we get away with adding that they are thumb-sucking goobers? The voters were incredible chumps to pick them!

Got the suit in Tampa.

Let's just put that lawsuit in the pile with all the others. Our advice to the commission is going to be not to do anything, since that would be an admission that something was wrong.

* * *

To: Sanitation Department
From: Accounting
Re: Personal

Wanna get a beer after work?

I hate to bring it up, but you appear to be missing a garbage truck, which seems like it would be a hard thing to lose.

* * *

To: Accounting

From: Sanitation Department

Re: Personal

Sure. I'm free after 5:30. Need to shower first.

Sorry about the truck. One of our guys drove it off a pier for fun and we were sort of hoping you wouldn't notice.

* * *

To: City Manager
From: Assistant City Manager
Re: Budget

Need to meet this PM about this budget shortfall.

* * *

To: Assistant City Manager
From: City Manager
Re: Personal

I believe you meant to say, "Need to meet this PM about this budget shortfall. How's your rash today?"

* * *

To: City Manager
From: Assistant City Manager
Re: Personal

Whoops, my mistake. Please accept these two attachments, "Report on City of Clearwater Screw-Ups, Vol. IV," and this funny thing I got from my sister-in-law, "Top Ten Reasons Haagen-Dazs Is Better Than A Husband."

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