[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Blue Mounds as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted as Ch. 6 of the 2001 Village Code]
Every officer and employee to preserve. Except as provided under § 67-8 below, each and every officer and employee of the Village of Blue Mounds is the legal custodian of and shall safely keep and preserve without exception all property and things:
Which are received from his or her predecessor or other persons and required by law to be filed, deposited or kept in his or her office;
Which are in the lawful possession or control of his or her deputies; or
To which possession, or control he, she, or his or her deputies may be lawfully entitled, as such officer or employee.
Delivery to successor. Upon the expiration of his or her term of office or employment, or whenever his or her office or position of employment becomes vacant, each such officer or employee, or on his or her death, his or her legal representative, shall deliver to his or her successor all such property and things without exception then in his or her custody, and his or her successor shall receipt to said officer or employee, who shall file said receipt with the Village Clerk/Treasurer. If a vacancy occurs before such successor is qualified, such property and things, without exception, shall be delivered to and be receipted for by the Village Clerk/Treasurer, on behalf of the successor, to be delivered to such successor or upon the latter's receipt.
Property and things defined. As used in this section, "Property and things" include, but are not limited to, the following: documents, records, files, paper, handwritten, typed or printed pages, drafts, notes, informal notations, preliminary computations, points with authorities and other materials prepared either as records or for the purpose of preserving remembrance or memory of what the author has done to discharge the duties of his or her office or employment; maps, surveys, charts, photographs, films, recordings, tapes (including computer tapes), computer printouts, monies, books and furniture, pertaining to, belonging to or preserved in his or her office or employment. "Records" means any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual or electromagnetic information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form and characteristics, which has been created or is being kept by said authority. The intent of this section is to be totally inclusory.
An elected or appointed official is the legal custodian of his or her records and the records of his or her office, but the official may designate the Village Clerk/Treasurer to act as the legal custodian. The chairperson of a Village Board, commission or committee, or the designee of the chairperson, is the legal custodian of the records of the Board, commission or committee, but the chairperson may designate the Village Clerk/Treasurer to act as the legal custodian.
In recognition of the fact that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to be the public policy of the Village of Blue Mounds that all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those officers and employees who represent them. Further, providing persons with such information is declared to be an essential function of a representative government and an integral part of the routine duties of officers and employees whose responsibility it is to provide such information. To that end, the provisions of this article 67 shall be construed in every instance with a presumption of complete public access, consistent with the conduct of government business. The denial of public access generally is contrary to the public interest, and only in an exceptional case may access be denied. Any matter pertaining to public access to records which is not included in this article 67 is governed by Wis. Stats., §§ 19.31 through 19.39, and other applicable laws.
As used in this article only, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
- Any of the following having custody of a Village record: a Village office, elected or appointed official, agency, board, commission, committee, department or public body corporate and politic created by constitution, law, ordinance, rule or order; or a formally constituted subunit of any of the foregoing. "Authorities" include but are not limited to the Village Clerk/Treasurer, who shall also have custody of the records of the Village Board, the Police Chief, the Municipal Court Judge, the Director of Public Works, the Assessor, the Building Inspector, the Attorney, and such other authorities as may be established or created from time to time unless at the time of their establishment or creation some other custodian is expressly designated.
- Any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual
or electromagnetic information 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,
and optical disks. "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 unless and until such materials are submitted
to any authority for its review, consideration or action; materials
which are purely the personal property of the custodian and have no
relation to his or her 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 5-14-2014 by Ord. No. A-221]
- Any person who requests inspection or copies of a record.
General right to inspect (Wis. Stats., § 19.35). Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to inspect any record. Substantive common law principles construing the right to inspect, copy or receive copies of records shall remain in effect. The exemptions to the requirement of a governmental body to meet in open session under Wis. Stats. § 19.85 are indicative of public policy with respect to exemptions to open records' requests. However, these criteria may be used as grounds for denying public access to a record only if the authority or legal custodian makes a specific demonstration that there is a need to restrict public access at the time that the request to inspect or copy the record is made.
Right to inspect personal records. In addition to any right under Subsection A, any requester who is an individual or person authorized by the individual, has a right to inspect any record containing personally identifiable information pertaining to the individual that is maintained by an authority and to make or receive a copy of any such information. When access is sought to any records which pertain to an individual, the targeted individual has a right to notification and to seek court review of the decision if the record custodian agrees to release the information. The right to inspect or copy a record under this subsection does not apply to any of the following:
Any record containing personally identifiable information that is collected or maintained in connection with a complaint, investigation or other circumstances that may lead to an enforcement action, administrative proceeding, arbitration proceeding or court proceeding, or any such record that is collected or maintained in connection with such an action or proceeding.
Any record containing personally identifiable information that, if disclosed, would do any of the following:
Endanger an individual's life or safety.
Identify a confidential informant.
Endanger the security of any state correctional institution, as defined in Wis. Stats. § 301.01(4), jail, as defined in Wis. Stats. § 165.85(2)(bg), secured correctional facility, as defined in Wis. Stats. § 938.02(15g), mental health institute, as defined in Wis. Stats. § 51.01(12), center for the developmentally disabled, as defined in Wis. Stats. § 51.01(3), or the population or staff of any of these jails, institutions, or facilities.
Any record that is part of a records series, as defined in Wis. Stats. § 19.62(7), that is not indexed, arranged or automated in a way that the record can be retrieved by the authority maintaining the records series by use of an individual's name, address or other identifier, Wis. Stats. § 19.35(1)(am)3.
Copies of written records. Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to inspect a record and to make or receive a copy of a record which appears in written form. If a requester requests a copy of the record, the authority having custody of the record may, at his or her option, permit the requester to photocopy the record or provide the requester with a copy substantially as readable as the original. Wis. Stats. § 19.35(1)(b).
Copies of audio tapes. Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to receive from an authority having custody of a record which is in the form of a comprehensible audio tape recording, a copy of the tape recording substantially as audible as the original. The authority may instead provide a transcript of the recording to the requester if he or she requests. Wis. Stats. § 19.35(1)(c).
Copies of video tapes. Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to receive from an authority having custody of a record which is in the form of a video tape recording a copy of the tape recording substantially as good as the original. Wis. Stats., § 19.35(1)(d).
Incomprehensible records to be reduced to written form. Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to receive from the custodian of a record which is not in a readily comprehensible form a copy of the information contained in the record assembled and reduced to written form on paper. Wis. Stats. § 19.35(1)(e).
Inspection of noncopyable records. Except as otherwise provided by law, any requester has a right to inspect any record not specified in Subsections C through F the form of which does not permit copying. If a requester requests permission to photograph the record, the authority having custody of the record may permit the requester to photograph the record. If a requester requests that a photograph of the record be provided, the authority shall provide a good quality photograph of the record.
The authority shall provide any person who is authorized to inspect or copy a record with facilities comparable to those used by Village employees to inspect, copy, and abstract the record during established business hours.
Amount. The following fees shall be charged by the Village Clerk/Treasurer or other Village authority for copying or locating Village records:
Photocopying (per page): as from time to time established by Village Board resolution but not exceeding actual, necessary, and direct cost of reproduction.
[Amended 7-9-2008 by Ord. No. A-190]
Photographing and photographic processing of record in form which does not permit copying: actual, necessary and direct cost.
Transcribing any tape recording whenever a transcript has not been and would not ordinarily be prepared but for the request: actual, necessary and direct cost.
Reproducing any film, computer printouts, and audio or video recordings: actual, necessary and direct cost.
Mailing or shipping of any copy, photograph, transcript or duplicate record to a requester: no charge under $1; actual, necessary and direct cost of mailing or shipping if over $1.
Locating a record: no charge to $50; actual cost if exceeds $50, in which case the actual, necessary, and direct cost of location shall be determined by the Village Clerk/Treasurer and collected by the custodian and charged to the requester.
Requests for real estate assessment reports and letters: as from time to time established by Village Board resolution but not exceeding actual, necessary, and direct cost of reproduction.
[Added 7-9-2008 by Ord. No. A-190]
Prepayment. The Clerk/Treasurer may require prepayment by a requester of any fee or fees imposed under this section if the total amount exceeds $5.
Exceptions. No fee shall be charged for copying or locating a public record in the following instances:
Elected and appointed officials of the Village shall not be required to pay for copies of records reasonably required for the proper performance of their official duties.
An authority may provide copies of a record without charge or at a reduced charge where he or she determines that waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest.
Posting. Pursuant to § 19.34, Wis. Stats., and the guidelines therein listed, each authority shall adopt, prominently display, and make available for inspection and copying at its offices, for the guidance of the public, a notice containing a description of its organization and the established times and places at which, the legal custodian from whom, and the methods whereby the public may obtain information and access to records in its custody, make requests for records, or obtain copies of records, and the costs thereof. This subsection does not apply to members of the Village Board.
[Added 7-9-2008 by Ord. No. A-190]
Availability of records. A requester may have access to Village records during all regular office hours at the Village Hall. If a record is occasionally taken to a location other than the Village Hall, the record shall be made available for inspection at the Village Hall upon one business day's notice.
Making a request. A request to inspect or copy a record shall be made to the Village Clerk/Treasurer. 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 shall be made in writing.
Filling a request. The Village Clerk/Treasurer shall, as soon as practicable and without delay, either fill the request or notify the person making the request of the custodian's determination to deny the request in whole or in part and the reasons therefor. If the Clerk/Treasurer 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 or her request in a manner which would permit reasonable compliance.
Denial of a request. If a request is made orally, the Clerk/Treasurer may deny it 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, a written statement of the reasons for denying the request shall be given to the requester. Every written denial or a request shall inform the requester that where a request is made in writing, the denial is subject to review upon petition for a writ of mandamus in accordance with Wis. Stats. § 19.37(1), or upon application to the attorney general or the Dane County district attorney.
Exempt records. The following records shall be exempt from inspection and reproduction:
Records specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal law or authorized to be exempted from disclosure by state law.
Any record relating to investigative information obtained for law enforcement purposes if federal law or regulations require exemption from disclosure or if exemption from disclosure is a condition to receipt of aids by the state.
Computer programs, although the material used as input for a computer program or the material produced as a product of the computer program shall be subject to inspection.
A record or any portion of a record containing information qualifying as a common law trade secret, Wis. Stats. § 19.36.
Records naming or identifying any applicant for a position with the Village who has indicated in writing he or she does not wish the Village to reveal his or her identity except a final candidate for the position as defined in Wis. Stats. § 19.36(7).
Denial of access because of harm to public interest. An authority may deny a request to inspect a record which is not specifically exempt from disclosure, in whole or in part, only if he or she determines that the harm to the public interest resulting from disclosure would outweigh the public interest in full access to the requested record. Inspection may be denied, for example, when the requisite determination has been made and:
The records were obtained under official pledges of confidentiality which were necessary and given in order to obtain the information contained in them.
The record relates to current deliberations in a quasi-judicial hearing.
The record relates to current deliberations concerning employment, dismissal, promotion, demotion, compensation, performance or discipline of any Village officer or employee, or the investigation of charges against a Village officer or employee, unless such officer or employee consents to disclosure.
The record relates to the formulation of current strategy for crime detection or prevention.
The record relates to current deliberations or negotiations concerning the purchase of public property, investment of public funds, or other public business whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require nondisclosure.
The record contains financial, medical, social or personal histories or disciplinary data of specific persons which, if disclosed, would be likely to have a substantial adverse effect upon the reputation of any person referred to in such history or data.
The record contains communications between legal counsel for the Village and any officer, agent or employee of the Village, wherein advice is rendered concerning strategy with respect to current litigation in which the Village or any of its officers, agents or employees is or is likely to become involved.
The record is subject to any privilege created by Chapter 905 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
Mixed records. If a record contains a mixture of information that may be made public and of information that may not be made public, the custodian shall provide the information that may be made public and delete the information that may not be made public from the record before permitting the record to be inspected. If an authority receives a request to inspect or copy a record that is in handwritten form or a record that is in the form of a voice recording which the authority is required to withhold or from which the authority is required to delete information under Wis. Stats. § 19.36(8)(b), because the handwriting or the recorded voice would identify an informant, the authority shall provide to the requester, upon his or her request, a transcript of the record or the information contained in the record if the record or information is otherwise subject to public inspection and copying under this article. If, in the judgement of the custodian, there is no feasible way to separate the exempt material from the nonexempt material without unreasonably jeopardizing disclosure of the exempt material, the entire record shall be withheld from disclosure, Wis. Stats. § 19.36(6).
Challenges to records containing personally identifiable information may be made and responded to in accordance with Wis. Stats. § 19.365.
Destruction of records. Village officers may destroy records which are considered obsolete of which they are legal custodians after completion of any required audit by the bureau of municipal audit or by a public accountant licensed to practice in Wisconsin but in not less than the time period established under the record retention schedule set forth in § 67-12 below.
Historical records. Under Wis. Stats. § 19.21(4)(a), municipalities must notify the State Historical Society of Wisconsin (SHSW) prior to destroying records. However, the SHSW has waived the required 60 days' notice:
Destruction after request for inspection. No requested records may be destroyed until after the request for inspection is granted or 60 days after the request is denied. If an action is commenced under Wis. Stats., § 19.37, the requested record may not be destroyed until after a court order is issued authorizing such destruction and all appeals have been completed, Wis. Stats. § 19.35(5).
Destruction of pending litigation. No record subject to pending litigation shall be destroyed until the litigation is resolved.
Review and approval by the Public Records Board. this article and the retention periods of less than seven years has been reviewed and approved by the Wisconsin Public Records Board.
[Amended 5-14-2014 by Ord. No. A-221]
[Amended 7-9-2008 by Ord. No. A-190; 5-14-2014 by Ord. No. A-221; 3-13-2019 by Ord. No. A-239]
General Records Schedule adopted. The Village herby adopts, by reference, the Wisconsin Municipal Records Schedule (hereinafter "Records Schedule"), pertaining to the retention and destruction of public records and approved by the State of Wisconsin Public Records Board (hereinafter "Records Board") on August 27, 2018. A copy of the Records Schedule will be kept on file in the Village Clerk’s office located at 11011 Brigham Avenue and made available for public viewing during open office hours.
Other records. In the event the Village creates a record not contemplated by the Records Schedule, the Village may, subject to the Records Board’s prior approval, either adopt an applicable records retention schedule set forth by the Records Board, if available, or create its own retention schedule pertaining to the record.
Repeal. All ordinances, or portions thereof, or resolutions, or portions thereof, in conflict with any portion of the Records Schedule are hereby repealed. Any approved Village retention schedule, or portion thereof, for any record not contemplated by the Records Schedule shall remain in full force and effect.
Any Village authority or custodian may, subject to the approval of the Village Board, keep and preserve public records through the use of microfilm or optical imaging, provided the microfilm or optical imaging meets the applicable standards in Wis. Stats. § 16.61(7) or 16.62. Retention periods and estimated costs and benefits of converting records between different media should be considered. After verification, paper records converted to microfilm or optical imaging should be destroyed. The retention periods identified in this article apply to records in any media. Such records shall be open to public inspection and copying according to the provisions of state law and this article.
[Added 7-9-2008 by Ord. No. A-190]
Applicability. This section applies to all invoices which are billed to the Village of Blue Mounds and passed through to the individual responsible for payment.
Processing fees. There shall be a processing fee of 1% of the invoiced amount (with a minimum processing fee of $5) added to all invoices charged to the Village of Blue Mounds which are passed through by the Village to the individual responsible for payment. Said processing fee shall not apply to water and sewer service charges covered by Chapters 282 and 357.
Interest. Interest at the rate of 18% per annum, compounded monthly, shall accrue on all invoices owed to the Village of Blue Mounds which are 30 days past due. All invoices shall bear the notation: "Interest will be charged at 18% per annum, compounded monthly, on accounts 30 days past due."
[Adopted 6-14-2017 by Ord. No. A-235]
This article adopts by reference § 70.47(7)(af), Wis. Stats. Income and expense information provided by a property owner to an assessor for the purposes of establishing the valuation for assessment purposes by the income method of valuation shall be confidential and not a public record open to inspection or copying under § 19.35(1), Wis. Stats.
An officer may make disclosure of such information under the following circumstances:
The Assessor has access to such information in the performance of his/her duties;
The Board of Review may review such information when needed, in its opinion, to decide upon a contested assessment;
Another person or body has the right to review such information due to the intimate relationship to the duties of an office or as set by law;
The officer is complying with a court order; or
The person providing the income and expense information has contested the assessment level at either the Board of Review or by filing a claim for excessive assessment under § 74.37 Wis. Stats., in which case the base records are open and public.