[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fond du Lac 6-23-1993 by Ord. No. 2679 as § 1.11 of the 1993 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 4-24-2014 by Ord. No. 3544; 9-11-2019 by Ord. No. 3697]
The following terms have the meanings indicated:
- Any of the following having custody of a record: an office, elected or appointed official, agency, board, commission, committee, council, municipal court, department or public body corporate and politic created by constitution, law, ordinance, rule or order, a formally constituted subunit of the foregoing, any court of law, or any other person or entity so designated by § 19.32(1), Wis. Stats.
- That officer, department head, division head or employee of the City designated under § 148-3 or otherwise responsible by law to keep and preserve any City records or file, deposit or keep such records in his office, or who is lawfully in possession or entitled to possession of such public records and who is required by this chapter to respond to requests for access to such records.
- Any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual or electromagnetic information or electronically generated or stored data is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which has been created or is being kept by an authority. "Record" includes, but is not limited to, handwritten, typed or printed pages, maps, charts, photographs, films, recordings, tapes (including computer tapes), computer printouts, optical disks, and any other medium on which electronically generated or stored data is recorded or preserved. "Record" does not include drafts, notes, preliminary computations and like materials prepared for the originator's personal use or prepared by the originator in the name of a person for whom the originator is working; materials which are purely the personal property of the custodian and have no relation to his office; materials to which access is limited by copyright, patent or bequest; and published materials in the possession of an authority other than a public library which are available for sale, or which are available for inspection at a public library.
[Amended 4-24-2014 by Ord. No. 3544]
Each officer and employee of the City shall safely keep and preserve all records received from his predecessor or other persons and required by law to be filed, deposited or kept in his office or which are in the lawful possession or control of the officer or employee or his deputies, or to the possession or control of which he or they may be lawfully entitled as such officers or employees.
Upon the expiration of an officer's term of office or an employee's term of employment, or whenever the office or position of employment becomes vacant, each such officer or employee shall deliver to his successor all records then in his custody, and the successor shall receipt therefor to the officer or employee who shall file such receipt with the City Manager. If a vacancy occurs before a successor is selected or qualifies, such records shall be delivered to and received by an appropriate party, on behalf of the successor, to be delivered to such successor upon the latter's receipt.
Each elected or appointed official is the legal custodian of his records and the records of his office, but the official may designate an employee of his staff to act as the legal custodian.
Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the City Clerk or the Clerk's designee shall act as legal custodian for the City Council and for any committees, commissions, boards or other authorities created by ordinance or resolution of the City Council.
Each legal custodian shall name a person to act as legal custodian in his absence or the absence of his designee.
The legal custodian shall have full legal power to render decisions and to carry out the duties of an authority under Subchapter II of Ch. 19, Wis. Stats., and this chapter. The designation of a legal custodian does not affect the powers and duties of an authority under this chapter.
[Amended 4-24-2014 by Ord. No. 3544; 9-11-2019 by Ord. No. 3697]
Except as provided in § 148-6 and all applicable state and federal law, any person has a right to inspect a record and to make or receive a copy of any record as provided in § 19.35(1), Wis. Stats.
Records will be available for inspection and copying during all regular office hours.
If regular office hours are not maintained at the location where records are kept, the records will be available for inspection and copying upon at least 48 hours' advance notice of intent to inspect or copy.
A requester will be permitted to use facilities comparable to those available to City employees to inspect, copy or abstract a record.
The legal custodian may require supervision during inspection or may impose other reasonable restrictions on the manner of access to an original record if the record is irreplaceable or easily damaged.
A requester may be charged a fee to defray the cost of locating and copying records as follows:
The cost of photocopying will be set by resolution of the City Council. Such cost will be calculated not to exceed the actual, necessary and direct cost of reproduction.
If the form of a written record does not permit copying, the actual and necessary cost of photographing and photographic processing may be charged.
The actual full cost of providing a copy of other records not in printed form on paper, such as films, computer printouts and audio or video tapes, may be charged.
If mailing or shipping is necessary, the actual cost thereof may also be charged.
There will be no charge for locating a record unless the actual cost thereof exceeds $50, in which case the actual cost will be determined by the legal custodian and billed to the requester.
The legal custodian will estimate the cost of all applicable fees and may require a cash deposit adequate to assure payment, if such estimate exceeds $5.
Elected and appointed officials of the City will not be required to pay for public records they may reasonably require for the proper performance of their official duties.
The legal custodian may provide copies of a record without charge or at a reduced charge where he determines waiver or reduction of the fee to be in the public interest.
[Amended 9-11-2019 by Ord. No. 3697]
A request to inspect or copy a record shall be made to the legal custodian. A request shall be deemed sufficient if it reasonably describes the requested record or the information requested. However, a request for a record without a reasonable limitation as to subject matter or length of time represented by the record does not constitute a sufficient request. A request may be made orally, but a request must be in writing before an action to enforce the request is commenced under § 19.37, Wis. Stats. Except as provided below, no request may be refused because the person making the request is unwilling to be identified or to state the purpose of the request. No request may be refused because the request is received by mail, unless prepayment of a fee is required under § 148-4F(6).
Each custodian, upon request for any record, will as soon as practicable and without delay, either fill the request or notify the requester of the authority's determination to deny the request in whole or in part and the reasons therefor. If the legal custodian, after conferring with the City Attorney, determines that a written request is so general as to be unduly time consuming, the party making the request may first be required to itemize his request in a manner which would permit reasonable compliance.
A request for a record may be denied as provided in § 148-6 and all applicable state and federal law. If a request is made orally, the request may be denied orally unless a demand for a written statement of the reasons for denying the request is made by the requester within five business days of the oral denial. If a written request is denied in whole or in part, the requester shall receive a written statement of the reasons for denying the request. Every written denial of a request shall inform the requester that if the request for the record was made in writing, then the determination is subject to review upon petition for a writ of mandamus under § 19.37(1), Wis. Stats., or upon application to the Attorney General or a district attorney.
The City hereby adopts § 19.36, Wis. Stats., and as subsequently amended, regarding limitations upon access and withholding of records.
[Amended 9-11-2019 by Ord. No. 3697]
As provided by § 43.30, Wis. Stats., public library circulation records are exempt from inspection under this chapter.
Whenever the Assessor, in the performance of the Assessor's duties, requests or obtains income and expense information pursuant to § 70.47(7)(af), Wis. Stats., or any successor statute thereto, then such income and expense information that is provided to the Assessor shall be held by the Assessor on a confidential basis; except, however, that said information may be revealed to and used by persons in the discharge of duties imposed by law, in the discharge of duties imposed by office (including but not limited to use by the Assessor in performance of official duties of the Assessor's office and use by the Board of Review in performance of its official duties), or pursuant to order of the court. Income and expense information provided to the Assessor under § 70.47(7)(af), Wis. Stats., unless a court determines that it is inaccurate, is, per § 70.47(7)(af), Wis. Stats., not subject to the right of inspection and copying under § 19.35(1), Wis. Stats., or § 148-4 of this chapter.
[Amended 9-8-1999 by Ord. No. 2977]
In responding to a request for inspection or copying of a record which is not specifically exempt from disclosure, the legal custodian, after conferring with the City Attorney, may deny the request, in whole or in part, only if he determines that the harm to the public interest resulting from disclosure would outweigh the public interest in full access to the requested record.
[Amended 9-8-1999 by Ord. No. 2977; 9-11-2019 by Ord. No. 3697]
If a record contains information that may be made public and information that may not be made public, the custodian of the record shall provide the information that may be made public and delete the information that may not be made public from the record before release. The custodian shall confer with the City Attorney prior to releasing any such record and shall follow the guidance of the City Attorney when separating out the exempt material. If, in the judgment of the custodian and the City Attorney, there is no feasible way to separate the exempt material from the nonexempt material without unreasonably jeopardizing nondisclosure of the exempt material, the entire record shall be withheld from disclosure.
Editor's Note: Original § 1.11(7), Destruction of records, amended 2-23-1994 by Ord. No. 2726, and § 1.11(8), Preservation through microfilm, which immediately followed this section, were repealed 4-24-2014 by Ord. No. 3544.