Alfred Selectmen upset by request for public records

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The board of selectmen for the Town of Alfred, apparently inconvenienced and incensed by The Maine Heritage Policy Center’s request for public information, have fired back at The Maine Heritage Policy Center with a particularly sarcastic request.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) requested town employee salary information and town check register information from Alfred’s selectman. This public information is available under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act and is available to anyone.

As you can see in this return letter to MHPC, Alfred’s selectmen request records from MHPC, all of which, with the exception of request number 1, are not legally required of a private non-profit like MHPC.  Curiously enough, the Town of Alfred provided the public records requested, but still felt the need to send such a letter. The letter appears to be some odd attempt at retribution for the efforts of MHPC to obtain public records.

The question is, why is a Maine town like Alfred so upset with a request for public records? Why is providing public information such a hassle for a town who is funded soley by public dollars?