[R.O. 1997 § 130.010; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
It is the public policy of the City of Wildwood that meetings, records, votes, actions and deliberations of public governmental bodies be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law. To that end, the City hereby adopts all applicable provisions of Chapter 610, RSMo., as amended (hereinafter referred to as the "Missouri Sunshine Law"), as the open meetings and records policy of the City. This Chapter and the Missouri Sunshine Law shall be liberally construed and the exceptions strictly construed to promote this public policy. Except as otherwise provided by law, all public meetings of City public governmental bodies shall be open to the public as set forth in Section 610.020, RSMo., all public records of public governmental bodies shall be open to the public for inspection and copying as set forth in Sections 610.023 to 610.026, RSMo., and all public votes of public governmental bodies shall be recorded as set forth in Section 610.015, RSMo. A copy of the Missouri Sunshine Law shall be kept available for public use, inspection and examination at City Hall during normal business hours.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 130, adopted 9-1-1995 by Ord. No. 8, as amended 9-1-1995 by Ord. No. 141 and 10-13-1997 by Ord. No. 379.
[R.O. 1997 § 130.020; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
The City Clerk or his or her designee shall be the custodian of records (referred to herein as the "custodian") and will be responsible for maintenance and control of all records. The custodian may designate deputy custodians in operating departments of the City and such other departments or offices as the custodian may determine. Deputy custodians shall conduct matters relating to public records and meetings in accord with the policies enumerated herein. All requests for access to public records must be made in writing and addressed to the custodian of records. To maintain the integrity of official records and compliance with the Missouri Sunshine Law, only the custodian is authorized to receive and respond to requests subject to Missouri Sunshine Law requests on behalf of the City.
Each request for access to a public record shall be acted upon as soon as possible, but in no event later than the end of the third business day following the date the request is received by the custodian of records of a public governmental body. If records are requested in a certain format, the public body shall provide the records in the requested format, if such format is available. If access to the public record is not granted immediately, the custodian shall give a detailed explanation of the cause for further delay and the place and earliest time and date that the record will be available for inspection. This period for document production may exceed three (3) days for reasonable cause.
If a request for access is denied, the custodian shall provide, upon request, a written statement of the grounds for such denial. Such statement shall cite the specific provision of law under which access is denied and shall be furnished to the requester no later than the end of the third business day following the date that the request for the statement is received.
It shall be unlawful for any person to remove original public records from City Hall or other office of a City public governmental body or the custodian without written permission of the custodian.
The City shall not grant to any person or entity, whether by contract, license or otherwise, the exclusive right to access and disseminate any public record unless the granting of such right is necessary to facilitate coordination with, or uniformity among, industry regulators having similar authority.
Drafts, non-final versions of documents and other work product shall not constitute a "public record" unless as otherwise required by law. Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to require retention of a document not otherwise required by law to be retained.
If a public record contains material which is not exempt from disclosure as well as material which is exempt from disclosure, the public governmental body shall separate the exempt and non-exempt material and make the non-exempt material available for examination and copying.
The custodian may require all requests for access to public records to be on a request for public records form designed by the custodian which includes, but is not limited to, such information as the date and time of the request, the name and address of person making request (or other information as to where person making request can be located), and the specific public record(s) being requested.
[R.O. 1997 § 130.030; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
All meetings, records and votes are open to the public, except that any meeting, record or vote relating to one (1) or more of the matters set out in Section 610.021, RSMo., as amended, as well as other materials designated elsewhere in this Chapter, shall be closed unless the public governmental body votes to make them public. Before closing a meeting to the public, a majority of a quorum of the governmental body shall vote to do so in a public vote. The vote of each member of the governmental body on the question of closing the meeting or vote and the reason for closing the meeting by reference to a specific exception shall be announced at a public meeting and entered into the minutes.
[R.O. 1997 § 130.040; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
In order to allow the fullest cooperation by employees and members of the public in investigation of matters wherein an employee of the City is alleged to have engaged in any form of misconduct, all files, records and documents relating to investigations of allegations of misconduct by City employees will be considered to be personnel records and shall be closed records under the custody of the respective department head.
[R.O. 1997 § 130.050; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
All information obtained by the City regarding medical examinations, medical condition or medical history of City employees or job applicants, if retained by the City, shall be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and shall be treated as closed and confidential records, except that:
Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work duties of employees and necessary accommodations;
First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the information reflects the existence of a disability which might require emergency treatment; or
Government officials investigating compliance with State or Federal law pertaining to treatment of persons with disabilities may be allowed access to such records.
[R.O. 1997 § 130.060; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
In order to protect reasonable expectations of privacy on the part of persons having dealings with the City, City records containing information or entries of a personal, confidential, private or proprietary nature, including, but not limited to, income, sales data, financial circumstances, household and family relationships, social security numbers, dates of birth, insurance information and other information which reasonable persons generally regard as private and not a customary subject for public discourse, which information or entries have been provided to the City by one complying with regulations requiring the disclosure of such information, shall be, to the extent authorized by law, excised from copies of City records disclosed or provided to members of the public other than those persons to whom the information of entries pertain. Persons desiring access to information or entries excised from such records may file a supplementary written request with the City Clerk for disclosure of material to be specified in the request, which request should state:
In addition to any other remedies available to the City provided by law, the City Clerk may afford all interested parties a reasonable opportunity to seek judicial review of or relief from the proposed disclosure. The City Clerk, with the approval of the City Council, may also utilize the procedures for judicial determination and/or opinion solicitation provided by law.
[R.O. 1997 § 130.070; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
A public governmental body or record custodian in doubt about the legality of closing a particular meeting, record or vote may, subject to approval by the City Council, bring suit in the Circuit Court for the County of St. Louis to ascertain the propriety of such action. In addition, subject to approval by the City Council, the public governmental body or custodian may seek a formal opinion of the Attorney General or an attorney for the City regarding the propriety of such action. In such events, any proposed closed meeting or public access to the record or vote shall be deferred for a reasonable time pending the outcome of the actions so taken.
[R.O. 1997 § 130.080; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
To the fullest extent permitted by law, the custodian is authorized to impose fees for the City's cost of document search, research and duplication in complying with records requests. The maximum fees to be imposed by the custodian shall be the maximum amount permitted by the Missouri Sunshine Law, not to exceed the City's cost.
The custodian may request and receive payment prior to duplicating and/or searching for documents.
[R.O. 1997 § 130.090; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
The City Council may provide for the legal defense of any member of any City public governmental body charged with a violation of the Missouri Sunshine Law.
This Chapter, along with any supplemental policies adopted by any City governmental body, shall be considered the City of Wildwood Open Meetings and Records Policy in compliance with the Missouri Sunshine Law. This Chapter and all other open meetings and records policies of the City shall be open to public inspection.
Any member of a City public governmental body or any employee of the City who complies with the City of Wildwood Open Meetings and Records Policy is not guilty of a violation of the provisions of the Missouri Sunshine Law or this Chapter is subject to civil liability for any act arising out of his/her adherence to the City of Wildwood Open Meetings and Records Policy.
No person who in good faith reports a violation of the provisions of the Missouri Sunshine Law or this Chapter is civilly liable for making such report, nor, if such person is an officer or employee of a public governmental body, may such person be demoted, fired, suspended or otherwise disciplined for making such report.
[R.O. 1997 § 130.100; Ord. No. 1102 § 1, 8-9-2004]
No person shall be entitled access to any closed record except as permitted by this Section or as may be required by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. All closed records shall be subject to inspection and access by the Mayor, City Council, City Administrator, City Clerk and City Attorney subject to the following qualifications:
Lawfully closed records pertaining to the performance or conduct of any of the above-listed individuals shall be further closed to such individuals if the document identifies the individual and the statutory basis for closure on its cover;
No such person who has declared a conflict of interest preventing that official from acting on the matter shall be entitled to access the closed record where the record contains information that would create a conflict of interest or an apparent conflict of interest;
Records otherwise specifically prohibited from disclosure by law shall be disclosed only as permitted by such law;
Access to a specific document(s) may be established other than as provided in this Section by an order supported by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the City Council.