Skip to content

Our Most Recent GRAMA Request to the City of Moab

NOTE: On September 12, 2016, The Zephyr sent a detailed, three part GRAMA request to the City of Moab, c/o its Recorder Rachel Stenta. According to USPS Tracking, the letter was received at 8:54 AM on September 15.

We also sent Part 2 to the Office of the Utah Attorney General. However, they notified me by phone on September 26, that they do not have the audio recordings requested; nor could they verify that anyone from the AG’s office even listened to them. How they could make a determination that the City Council was simply negligent in the “specificity of its minutes” and by inference suggest that the City of Moab did, in fact, discuss restructuring and reorganization of its departments in open meetings is bewildering.

Further, the AG representative suggested we request the specific audio recordings from the City of Moab, which of course, is what we just did…

We have asked that the City respond with the appropriate requested documents and information by December 1, 2016…JS


T H E   C A N Y O N    C O U N T R Y

Jim Stiles, publisher
PO Box 271      Monticello, UT 84535

September 10, 2016

TO:  Rachel Stenta, Moab City Recorder

217 East Center St
Moab, UT 84532


Dear Ms. Stenta,

Pursuant to the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act, (GRAMA), I am requesting the following documentation:


Definitions: Correspondence means “emails, texts, social media messages, letters, and memorandums.” City Manager means “Rebecca Davidson and her administrative assistant.” City Recorder means “Rachel Stenta and staff in the City Recorder’s office.”

  1. Any correspondence between the Mayor, City Manager, City Recorder, City department heads, and/or the City Council regarding:

    a. the necessity for, requesting, bidding, paying for, or hiring out the initial IT Audit, aka IT “initial assessment,” prior to the June 3, 2015 (the date of the Assessment);

    b. recommendation for TAYO, Inc. for the City’s IT work in April or May 2015;

    c. Rebecca Davidson’s relationship or household living arrangement with TAYO, Inc, Niyo Pearson, and/or Tara Smelt in 2015 and 2016

    d. determination of an IT emergency, or any termination of said emergency, in 2015 and 2016;

    e. releasing the TAYO contract or TAYO Scope/Statement of Work;

    f. requests for resources to upgrade software licensing, and any draft or approved budget that either reflects those requests, or shows that those requests were removed by the acting City Manager or City Council from 2009 until May 1, 2015

    g. expanding the scope of the RFP dated July 27, 2016 from “Information Technology Security (Cyber Security)” as approved on June 7, 2016 by the City Council to “Information Technology Security (Cyber Security) and Information Technology Support Services” from June 7 until the current date;

  1. Any correspondence between the Mayor, City Manager, City Recorder, City department heads, City Council, vendors, and/or TAYO regarding:

    a. security concerns with the City’s water system or SCADA;

    b. security concerns linked to credit cards or other personal information stored on City servers/databases/applications, including Xpress Billpay, the MRAC server, and SportsMan;

    c. fees, payments, or project scope for the IT Audit, aka IT Initial Assessment; consulting services; and/or time and materials agreement for IT work in 2015 and 2016

    d. requesting IT assistance or difficulties reaching TAYO;

  2. Any official budget worksheets from 2009 to the present that contain requests for resources to upgrade software licensing, and any draft or approved budget that either reflects those requests, or shows that those requests were removed by the then-acting City Manager or City Council;
  3. List of unlicensed software used on City computers or servers, and a list of the computers and/or work stations with said unlicensed software, or any other documentation that supports the Recorder’s statement on June 7, 2016 that there was an “abundance of unlicensed software;”
  4. Copy of any fully executed contract(s) with TAYO or Niyo Pearson;
  5. Copy of all Scope or Statement of Work documents with TAYO or Niyo Pearson in 2015 or 2016
  6. Copy of all Non-Disclosure Agreements with TAYO, Niyo Pearson, and Tara Smelt in 2015 or 2016
  7. Copy of Niyo Pearson’s IT credentials and ISC2 certification number;
  8. Copy of the IT Policy, dated January 27, 2015;
  9. Copy of any documentation supporting or summarizing what IT changes have occurred, including any metrics or study that show the efficiency or success of the IT upgrades;
  10. Invoices submitted by TAYO, Niyo Pearson, and Tara Smelt, and copies of payment coupons and checks made to the same, from May 1, 2015 to the present date for the IT Assessment, monthly retainer fee, travel, and all time and materials contracts.


This section of a Utah Government Records Access and Management Act request is based upon information provided by Assistant Attorney General Brian Nalder, re: my previously expressed concerns about possible violations of the Utah Open Meetings Act by the Moab, Utah City Council.

On August 9, as a result of a review of those concerns,  the Civil Review Committee wrote:

“It does not appear that the Moab City Council’s posted approved minutes include sufficient detail or specificity of the agenda items discussed in its meetings or the comments made by its members. Written minutes should provide enough information for the public to have a general sense of the discussions involving all matters that the members propose, discuss, or decide in their meetings.”

Nalder’s inference here was that the issue of restructuring had been discussed but because of a “lack of specificity of agenda items,” the discussion was not referenced in the minutes.

In a subsequent letter to me, Mr. Nalder insisted that, “the CRC for the Utah Attorney General’s Office reviewed everything available, including meeting agendas, audio recordings, (emphasis added)  meeting minutes, and materials.”

Since the AG agrees that the Moab City Council minutes “lacked specificity,” the only way to determine whether the matter of restructuring was discussed at any of the public meetings held by the Moab City Council meetings is via the audio recordings.

Therefore. pursuant to the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act, (GRAMA), I am requesting the following:

1. Identify by date and time during each public Moab City Council meeting prior to September 22, 2105, wherein “restructuring” and the reorganization of city departments was discussed in a manner open to the public, as determined by the results of the CRC.

2.  Provide that portion of the required audio recording of each such open meeting, prior to September 22, 2016, that discusses the reorganization/restructuring of city departments.


All supplementary documents for agenda items on the City Council agenda from June 2015 to the most recent city council meeting, including “administrator reports submitted in writing”

* * *

If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me pf the cost.  However, I request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and that this publication serves the public interests of the citizens of Moab, Utah.

This is not an expedited request, but we believe your office should be able to provide this information and the audio recordings by December 1, 2016. If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption (identified by part/number & letter) you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law.

Please send the results of this GRAMA request to the email address provided above.

Jim Stiles, publisher
The Canyon Country Zephyr

cc: Rosemary Cundiff, State Records Ombudsman


Update: We received a response to this GRAMA from the City of Moab, dated September 19, 2016. The text of the response is as follows:

Dear Mr. Stiles:

On September 15, 2016 the City of Moab (“City”) received your letter, a copy of which is enclosed, requesting certain documentation pursuant to Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”), Utah Code Section 63G-2-101, et seq.

Please be advised that the City has determined that, due to the following extraordinary circumstances, it cannot respond to the entirety of your GRAMA request within the ten-business-day time period provided in Utah Code Section 63G-2-204(3);

  • the request is for a voluminous quantity of records or a record series containing a substantial number of records, Utah Code 63G-2-204(5)(c)(i);
  • the request requires the City to review a large number of records to locate the records requested, Utah Code 63G-2-2-4(5)(c)(e); and
  • the decision to release many of the requested records involves legal issues that require the City to seek legal counsel for the analysis of statutes, rules, ordinances, regulations, or case law, Utah Code 63G-2-204(5)(f)

Accordingly, pursuant to Utah Code Section 63G-2-204(6)(c), for the claims under Utah Code Subsections 63G-2-204(5)(c) and (e), the City will disclose, within the ten-day time period provided in Utah Code Section 63G-2-204(3), the records that it has located within that time period which you are entitled to inspect; will finish the work required to respond to the request by the estimated date of approximately October 6, 2016; and will complete the work and disclose those records which you are entitled to inspect as soon as reasonably possible.

And pursuant to Utah Code Section 63G-2-204(6)(d), for the claim under Utah Code Subsection 63G-2-204(5)(f), the City will either approve or deny your request by October 6, 2016, which is five business days after expiration of the ten-business-day time period provided in Utah Code Section 63G-2-2-4(3).


Rachel E. Stenta

City Recorder/Assistant City Manager


We will update further when we’ve received the GRAMA materials.

Posted in Uncategorized.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK


(required, but never shared)

or, reply to this post via trackback.