[CC 1997 §2.50; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997; Ord. No. 3026-99 §1, 1-6-1999; Ord. No. 3570-04 §1, 8-18-2004]
As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the following definitions:
- CLOSED MEETING, CLOSED RECORD, CLOSED VOTE
- Any meeting, record or vote closed to the public.
- If requested by a member of the public, copies provided as detailed in the provisions of this Chapter, if duplication equipment is available.
- PUBLIC BUSINESS
- All matters which relate in any way to the performance of the City's functions or the conduct of its business.
- PUBLIC GOVERNMENTAL BODY
- Any legislative, administrative, governmental entity created by the Constitution or Statutes of this State, by order or ordinance of the City, judicial entities when operating in an administrative capacity, or by executive order, including:
- 1. Any advisory committee or commission appointed by the Mayor or City Council;
- 2. Any other legislative or administrative governmental deliberative body under the direction of three (3) or more elected or appointed members having rulemaking or quasi-judicial power;
- 3. Any committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the entities and which is authorized to report to any of the above named entities, any advisory committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the named entities for the specific purpose of recommending, directly to the City Council or the City Manager and/or Clerk, policy or policy revisions or expenditures of public funds. The custodian of the records of any public governmental body shall maintain a list of the policy advisory committees described in this Subsection; and
- 4. Any quasi-public governmental body.
- PUBLIC MEETING
- Any meeting of a public governmental body subject to Article I of this Chapter at which any public business is discussed, decided or public policy formulated, whether such meeting is conducted in person or by means of communication equipment, including, but not limited to, conference call, video conference, Internet chat or Internet message board. The term "public meeting" shall not include an informal gathering of members of a public governmental body for ministerial or social purposes when there is no intent to avoid the purposes of this Chapter, but the term shall include a public vote of all or a majority of the members of a public governmental body, by electronic communication or any other means, conducted in lieu of holding a public meeting with the members of the public governmental body gathered at one location in order to conduct public business.
- PUBLIC RECORD
- Any record, whether written or electronically stored, retained by or of any public governmental body including any report, survey, memorandum or other document or study prepared for the public governmental body by a consultant or other professional service paid for in whole or in part by public funds, including records created or maintained by private contractors under an agreement with a public governmental body or on behalf of a public governmental body. The term "public record" shall not include any internal memorandum or letter received or prepared by or on behalf of a member of a public governmental body consisting of advice, opinions and recommendations in connection with the deliberative decision-making process of said body unless such records are retained by the public governmental body or presented at a public meeting. Any document or study prepared for a public governmental body by a consultant or other professional service as described in this Chapter shall be retained by the public governmental body in the same manner as any other public record.
- PUBLIC VOTE
- Any vote, whether conducted in person, by telephone or by any other electronic means, cast at any public meeting of any public governmental body.
- QUASI-PUBLIC GOVERNMENTAL BODY
- Any person, corporation or partnership organized or authorized to do business in the State of Missouri pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 352, 353 or 355, RSMo., or unincorporated association which either:
- 1. Has as its primary purpose to enter into contracts with public governmental bodies, or to engage primarily in activities carried out pursuant to an agreement or agreements with public governmental bodies; or
- 2. Performs a public function, as evidenced by a statutorily based capacity to confer or otherwise advance, through approval, recommendation or other means, the allocation or issuance of tax credits, tax abatement, public debt, tax exempt debt, rights of eminent domain, or the contracting of lease-back agreements on structures whose annualized payments commit public tax revenues; or any association that directly accepts the appropriation of money from a public governmental body, but only to the extent that a meeting, record, or vote relates to such appropriation.
[CC 1997 §2.51; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997; Ord. No. 3026-99 §2, 1-6-1999; Ord. No. 3570-04 §2, 8-18-2004; Ord. No. 4193-11 §1, 12-21-2011]
All public meetings shall be open to the public and public votes and public records shall be open to the public for inspection and duplication.
Each public governmental body shall give notice of the time, date and place of each meeting and its tentative agenda in a manner reasonably calculated to advise the public of the matters to be considered and if the meeting will be conducted by telephone or other electronic means, the notice of the meeting shall identify the mode by which the meeting will be conducted and the designated location where the public may observe and attend the meeting. If a public body plans to meet by Internet chat, Internet message board or other computer link, it shall post a notice of the meeting on its website in addition to its principal office and shall notify the public how to access that meeting. Reasonable notice shall include making available copies of the notice to any representative of the news media who requests notice of meetings of a particular public governmental body concurrent with the notice being made available to the members of the particular governmental body and posting the notice on a bulletin board at City Hall or other prominent place which is easily accessible to the public and clearly designated for that purpose at the City Hall.
The notice shall be given at least twenty-four (24) hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays when the City Hall is closed, prior to the commencement of any meeting of any governmental body unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case as much notice as is reasonably possible shall be given; provided however, that for any public meeting where a vote of the City Council is required to implement a tax increase, or with respect to a retail development project when the City Council votes to utilize the power of eminent domain, create a transportation development district or a community improvement district, or approve a redevelopment plan that pledges public funds as financing for the project or plan, the City Council shall give notice conforming with all the requirements of law at least four (4) days before the City Council may vote on such issues, exclusive of weekends and holidays when the facility is closed, and provided further that the exception above and in Subsection (E) below concerning shorter reasonable notice periods if required notice is impossible or impractical shall not apply to meetings requiring four (4) days' notice.
Each meeting shall be held at a place reasonably accessible to the public and of sufficient size to accommodate the anticipated attendance by members of the public and at a time reasonably convenient to the public, unless for good cause such a place or time is impossible or impractical. Every reasonable effort shall be made to grant special access to the meeting to handicapped or disabled individuals.
When it is necessary to hold a meeting on less than twenty-four (24) hours' notice or at a place that is not reasonably accessible to the public, or at a time that is not reasonably convenient to the public, the nature of the good cause justifying that departure from the normal requirements shall be stated in the minutes.
A public body shall allow for the recording by audiotape, videotape or other electronic means of any open meeting. A public body may establish guidelines regarding the manner in which such recording is conducted so as to minimize disruption to the meeting. No audio recording of any meeting, record or vote closed pursuant to the provisions of Section 610.021, RSMo., shall be allowed without permission of the public body; any person who violates this provision shall be guilty of an ordinance violation and punished by imprisonment for a period not to exceed fifteen (15) days, a fine not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
A formally constituted subunit of a parent governmental body may conduct a meeting without notice as required by this Section during a lawful meeting of the parent governmental body, a recess in that meeting or immediately following that meeting, if the meeting of the subunit is publicly announced at the parent meeting and the subject of the meeting reasonably coincides with the subjects discussed or acted upon by the parent governmental body.
A journal or minutes of open and closed meetings shall be taken and retained by the public governmental body including, but not limited to, a record of any votes taken at such meeting. The minutes shall include the date, time, place, members present, members absent and a record of any votes taken.
[CC 1997 §2.52; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997; Ord. No. 3026-99 §3, 1-6-1999; Ord. No. 3570-04 §3, 8-18-2004]
All votes shall be recorded, and when a roll call is taken, as to attribute each "aye" and "nay" vote, or abstinence if not voting, to the name of the individual member of the public governmental body. Votes taken during a closed meeting shall be taken by roll call. All votes taken by roll call in meetings of a public governmental body consisting of members who are all elected, except for the Missouri General Assembly and any committee established by a public governmental body, shall be cast by members of the public governmental body who are physically present and in attendance at the meeting. When it is necessary to take votes by roll call in a meeting of the public governmental body, due to an emergency of the public body, with a quorum of the members of the public body physically present and in attendance and less than a quorum of the members of the public governmental body participating via telephone, facsimile, Internet or any other voice or electronic means, the nature of the emergency of the public body justifying that departure from the normal requirements shall be stated in the minutes. Where such emergency exists, the votes taken shall be regarded as if all members were physically present and in attendance at the meeting.
[CC 1997 §2.53; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997]
Except as otherwise provided in this Article, the City Clerk shall be the general custodian of records and shall thereby be responsible for the maintenance of all City records not entrusted to the care of another official of the City. In accord with the provisions of Section 2 of Article VII of the City Charter, which designates the City Manager as Personnel Director of the City, the City Manager shall be the custodian of all personnel records of the City. The Chief of Police shall be the custodian of all Police Department records, and particularly all closed records of the Police Department. The Clerk of the Municipal Court, acting on behalf of the Judge, shall be custodian of all Municipal Court records, and particularly, of all closed court records.
Each 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 in this Article.
[CC 1997 §2.54; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997; Ord. No. 3026-99 §4, 1-6-1999; Ord. No. 3570-04 §4, 8-18-2004]
Except as otherwise provided by law, the City shall provide access to, and, upon request, furnish copies of the City's public records subject to the provisions of Section 120.060 of this Chapter relating to copying fees. No person shall remove original public records from the City Hall or from the office of the custodian of records without written permission of the custodian. No public governmental body shall 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.
The custodian of records may require persons seeking access to public records to submit such request in writing and/or on a form designated by the custodian for such purpose. Such written request shall be sufficiently particular to reasonably apprise the custodian of the records sought.
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 (3rd) business day following the date the request is received by the custodian of records of the City. 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 of records shall, upon request, provide 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 requestor no later than the end of the third (3rd) business day following the date that the request for the statement is received.
Any member of a public governmental body who transmits any message relating to public business by electronic means shall also concurrently transmit that message to either the member's public office computer or the custodian of records in the same format. The provisions of this Subsection shall only apply to messages sent to other members of that body so that, when counting the sender, a majority of the body's members are copied. Any such message received by the custodian or at the member's office computer shall be a public record, subject, however, to the exceptions for closed records as provided by law.
[CC 1997 §2.55; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997; Ord. No. 3026-99 §5, 1-6-1999; Ord. No. 3570-04 §5, 8-18-2004]
Fees for copying public records shall not exceed ten cents ($0.10) per page for a paper copy not larger than nine (9) by fourteen (14) inches, plus an hourly fee for duplicating time not to exceed the average hourly rate of pay for clerical staff of the City. Research time required for fulfilling records requests may be charged at the actual cost of research time. Based on the scope of the request, the City shall produce the copies using employees of the City that result in the lowest amount of charges for search, research and duplication time. Prior to producing copies of the requested records, the person requesting the records may request the City to provide an estimate of the cost to the person requesting the records. The custodian shall receive or may require payment prior to duplicating documents.
Fees for providing access to public records maintained on computer facilities, recording tapes or disks, videotapes or films, pictures, maps, slides, graphics, illustrations or similar audio or visual items or devices and for paper copies larger than nine (9) by fourteen (14) inches shall include only the cost of copies, staff time, which shall not exceed the average hourly rate of pay for staff of the City required for making copies and programming, if necessary, and the cost of the disk or tape or other medium used for the duplication. Fees for maps, blueprints or plats that require special expertise to duplicate may include the actual rate of compensation for the trained personnel required to duplicate such maps, blueprints, or plats. If programming is required beyond the customary and usual level to comply with a request for records or information, the fees for compliance may include the actual costs of such programming.