[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Buena 9-27-2004 by Ord. No. 516. Amendments noted where applicable.]
N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., entitled "Open Public Records Act," as currently promulgated and as may be amended, hereinafter referred to as the "Act," is hereby adopted and incorporated herein by reference.
All government records which are made, maintained or kept on file by any Borough of Buena employee or officer shall be accessible to the public pursuant to the Act, unless said record does not meet the definition of a government record or is specifically excluded from public access by any provision of the Act.
The Borough Clerk shall be designated as the custodian of all government records.
When a government record is requested under the Act, the requestor shall complete a records request form and submit said form to the appropriate custodian during regular business hours. All requests shall be in writing and as specific as possible, including the type of record and date created, if known.
The custodian shall promptly comply with a request to inspect, examine, copy or provide a copy of a government record. If the custodian is unable to comply with a request for access, he or she shall indicate on the request form the specific basis for such inability to comply and shall promptly return it to the requestor. The custodian shall sign and date the form and provide the requestor with a copy thereof.
Immediate access ordinarily shall be granted to budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts, including collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts, and public employee salary and overtime information.
Should the custodian doubt whether or not the record requested is a government record as defined by law or is a record exempt from disclosure, the Borough Clerk shall request an opinion from the Borough Solicitor. After legal review, the Borough Solicitor shall issue an opinion and note such opinion on the request form and promptly return it to the Borough Clerk.
If any part of a particular record is exempt from public access pursuant to the Act, the custodian shall delete, react or excise from a copy of the record that portion which is exempt from access and shall promptly permit access to the remainder of the record.
If the record requested is temporarily unavailable because it is in use or storage, the custodian shall so advise the requestor and shall make arrangements to promptly make available a copy of the record.
If a request for access to a government record would substantially disrupt municipal operations, the custodian may deny access to the record after attempting to reach a reasonable solution with the requestor that accommodates the interests of the requestor and the Borough of Buena.
Unless a shorter time period is provided by statute, regulation or executive order, the custodian shall grant access to a government record or deny a request for access to a record as soon as possible but not later than seven business days after receiving the request, provided that the record is currently available and not in storage or archived. Should the custodian fail to respond within seven business days after receiving a request, the failure to respond shall be deemed a denial of the request, unless the requestor has elected not to provide a name, address, telephone number or other means of contacting the requestor. If the requestor has elected not to provide an address, telephone number or other means of contacting the requestor, the custodian shall not be required to respond until the requestor reappears before the custodian seeking a response to the original request. If the government record is in storage or archived, the requestor shall be so advised within seven business days after the custodian receives the request. The requestor shall be advised by the custodian when the record can be made available. If the record is not made available by that time, access shall be deemed denied.
The Borough Clerk's office shall conspicuously post in clear, concise and specific terms the right to appeal a denial or failure to provide access to a government record and the procedure for filing an appeal.
Upon the approval of a request to view, inspect, examine or copy a record, the record and the requestor shall remain in the presence of the custodian at all times. Under no circumstances shall any government record be removed from the office where it is normally kept unless accompanied by the custodian or designee.
Should the custodian or other municipal employee be required to observe or monitor the requestor while viewing a record for more than one hour, the requestor shall be responsible for reimbursing the Borough of Buena for time spent by the custodian or other employee.
Copies of records may be purchased for the fee prescribed by law. If a fee is not prescribed by law, the fee shall be the actual cost of duplicating the records; provided, however, that where the actual cost for duplication of a record exceeds the rates below, the actual cost shall be imposed. The fees for government records shall be as follows:
The fee assessed for the duplication of a government record embodied in the form of printed matter shall be $0.05 per letter-size page or smaller, and $0.07 per legal-size page or larger.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code]
Large-sized paper documents and maps: $1 per square foot, rounded up to the highest dollar.
Mailing labels: $3 per sheet of labels up to 12 inches by 15 inches.
Vital statistics records. To the extent that any vital statistic records are releasable in accordance with the New Jersey Open Public Record Act the fee for the same shall be as follows:
[Added 12-17-2012 by Ord. No. 602]
Marriage certificate: $28.
Corrections to vital statistics documents: $20.
Certified copies: $20.
Additional copies of vital statistics documents: $5.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated the subsequent subsections.
Special service charge.
A special service charge shall be imposed, in addition to the actual costs of duplicating the record, whenever the nature, format, manner of collation or volume of a government record embodied in the form of printed matter is such that it cannot be reproduced by ordinary document-copying equipment in ordinary business size or where such record involves an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort to accommodate the request. A special service charge shall be applied when the custodian must change the medium in which the record is normally kept in order to comply with the request. The special service charge shall include the cost of labor in addition to the cost of materials as well as any other actual costs incurred by the Borough of Buena. The requestor shall have the opportunity to review and object to the special service charge prior to it being incurred.
Conversion of records from one medium to another: cost of duplication, plus cost of electronic record medium and special service charge.
Should a third-party vendor be required to fulfill a special service request, the requestor shall be charged the fee as set by the third-party vendor.
A deposit shall be paid prior to filling any anonymous request where it is estimated that the information requested will cost in excess of $5 to produce. The deposit shall be the total estimated cost of producing the request.
A deposit shall be paid prior to filling any request where it is estimated that the information requested will cost in excess of $25 to produce. The deposit shall be 1/2 of the total estimated cost of producing the request.
Postage shall be billed to the requestor for any record requested by mail.
The approved forms of payment shall be cash, personal check, certified check, cashier's check, money order or bank check. No third-party checks shall be accepted. All checks shall be made payable to the Borough of Buena.