Posted by Matt (MPD) IL on February 04, 2004 at 14:50:53:
Sounds to me like you’re referring to the Freedom Of Information Act. While I don’t its exact wording, I’m sure it could be located on the web somewhere easily. However, depending on how your city/township is organised, they may or may not have a “list” like you mention readily available. The FoIA makes the information publicly available to anyone who requests it, but I don’t know that it specifically mandates how/when and in what format they need to do that. Some places charge for such a complete and compiled list. Locally, we’re only allowed to request information on a single named property per request. For me to do what you’re talking about would take me physically fiding each tagged house, and then specifically requesting its info on a separate form FOR EVERY HOUSE I FIND. Ugh!
I will say this however, it’s in both your best interests, (you and the area officer) to work together. The fewer condemned units in his/her area the better for them, and hopefully you can make money from those that you work with. Working together makes you money and saves them time and hassles.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT make any kind of award or offer to any type of government official at any time! You’re offering a bribe and there are stiff penalties for that. The official can not accept any money or any other type of benefit personally for making this information available to you. It’s illegal!
Yes, you are entitled to the information based on the laws. How you get it is locally specific to their rules of practice. Some will work with you and provide the lists like you had originally gotten.
Speak to this inspector again and ask about the benefits of working together to tidy up your city. Show them you take pride in helping making it a better place to live and want to see the town thriving again. Many of them you’ll find take quite a bit of pride in doing their jobs to make their city a nice, clean, comfortable town to live in. If you’re both on the same page, you’ll find they get alot easier to deal with.