By Holly Wise

The Cove Herald

COPPERAS COVE - It's Sunshine Week - an annual seven days when the public is educated on their right to know information from various governmental agencies.

The city of Copperas Cove's media policy is summarized in one sentence:

"News releases or comments to the news media by city employees regarding city matters shall require authorization by the city manager or his/her delegated authority prior to their release," the policy states.

Public record requests are handled under the guidelines of the Texas Public Information Act, and all requests have to go through the city manager, Andrea Gardner.

As Copperas Cove Independent School District's public information officer, Katie Rudesheim mediates relationships between the school district and community, and serves as the webmaster for the district's website.

According to the district's information access policy, which was last issued Aug. 16, the superintendent of the district is the public information officer with each department head acting as an "agent of the officer" in complying with public information laws.

Despite the title of a requester, the district has to treat all requests equally and adhere to the Texas Public Information Act.

According to its policy, the district has to promptly respond to public information requests and not automatically withhold information for 10 business days.

"Promptly means as soon as possible under the circumstances," the policy states.

If a large amount of information has been requested, personnel can suggest the scope of the request be narrowed, but they cannot question what the information is for.

Media personnel are instructed to access district employees, campuses and information by contacting Rudesheim, who in turn will contact the requested individuals or gather the information.

Contact Holly Wise at or (254) 501-7474.

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