Section 140.060 Records Containing Confidential, Proprietary or Private Information — Penalty for Breach of Confidentiality of Closed Matters.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 2354 §1, 9-8-2004]
As used in this Chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms mean:
- PUBLIC BUSINESS
- All matters which relate in any way to the performance of the functions of any public governmental body of the City or the conduct of its business.
- PUBLIC GOVERNMENTAL BODY OF THE CITY
- The Board of Aldermen, any boards, commissions and committees created by the Missouri Constitution or Statutes or by order or ordinance of the Board of Aldermen, the Municipal Court when operating in an administrative capacity or by any order of the Mayor, including any advisory committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the foregoing, for the specific purpose of recommending, directly to the Board of Aldermen or the City Administrator, policy or policy revisions or expenditures of public funds. The Custodian of Records shall maintain a list of such policy advisory committees.
- PUBLIC MEETING
- Any meeting of a public governmental body of the City 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 the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Law, 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 (1) 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 such 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.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 2354 §2, 9-8-2004]
All public meetings, public records and public votes are open to the public, except that a governmental body may close any meeting, record or vote relative to the following:
Legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving a public governmental body and any confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body or its representatives and its attorneys. However, any minutes, vote or settlement agreement relating to legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving a public governmental body or any agent or entity by representing its interests or acting on its behalf or with its authority, including any insurance company acting on behalf of a public governmental body as its insured, shall be made public upon final disposition of the matter voted upon or upon the signing by the parties of the settlement agreement, unless, prior to final disposition, the settlement agreement is ordered closed by a court after a written finding that the adverse impact to a plaintiff or plaintiffs to the action clearly outweighs the public policy considerations of Section 610.011, RSMo., however, the amount of any moneys paid by, or on behalf of, the public governmental body shall be disclosed; provided however, in matters involving the exercise of the power of eminent domain, the vote shall be announced or become public immediately following the action on the motion to authorize institution of such a legal action. Legal work product shall be considered a closed record.
Leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the legal consideration therefor. However, any minutes or vote or public record approving a contract relating to the leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body shall be made public upon execution of the lease, purchase or sale of the real estate.
Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by a public governmental body when personal information about the employee is discussed or recorded. However, any vote on a final decision, when taken by a public governmental body, to hire, fire, promote or discipline an employee of a public governmental body shall be made available with a record of how each member voted to the public within seventy-two (72) hours of the close of the meeting where such action occurs; provided however, that any employee so affected shall be entitled to prompt notice of such decision during the seventy-two (72) hour period of time before such decision is made available to the public. As used in this Subsection, "personal information" means information relating to the performance or merit of individual employees.
Non-judicial mental or physical health proceedings involving identifiable persons, including medical, psychiatric, psychological, or alcoholism or drug dependency diagnosis or treatment.
Testing and examination materials, before the test or examination is given or if it is to be given again, before so given again.
Welfare cases of identifiable individuals.
Preparation, including any discussions or work product, on behalf of a public governmental body or its representatives for negotiations with employee groups.
Software codes for electronic data processing and documentation thereof.
Specifications for competitive bidding, until either the specifications are officially approved by the public governmental body or the specifications are published for bid.
Sealed bids and related documents, until the bids are opened; and sealed proposals and related documents or any documents related to a negotiated contract until a contract is executed, or all proposals are rejected.
Individually identifiable personnel records, performance ratings or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment, except that this exemption shall not apply to the names, positions, salaries and lengths of service of officers and employees of public agencies once they are employed as such.
Records which are protected from disclosure by law.
Meetings and public records relating to scientific and technological innovations in which the owner has a proprietary interest.
Records relating to municipal hotlines established for the reporting of abuse and wrongdoing.
Confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body and its auditor, including all auditor work product; however, all final audit reports issued by the auditor are to be considered open records pursuant to this Chapter.
Operational guidelines and policies developed, adopted or maintained by any public agency responsible for law enforcement, public safety, first response or public health for use in responding to or preventing any critical incident which is or appears to be terrorist in nature and which has the potential to endanger individual or public safety or health. Nothing in this exception shall be deemed to close information regarding expenditures, purchases or contracts made by an agency in implementing these guidelines or policies. When seeking to close information pursuant to this exception, the agency shall affirmatively state in writing that disclosure would impair its ability to protect the safety or health of persons and shall in the same writing state that the public interest in non-disclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the records. This exception shall expire and be of no further force or effect on December 31, 2008.
Existing or proposed security systems and structural plans of real property owned or leased by a public governmental body, and information that is voluntarily submitted by a non-public entity owning or operating an infrastructure to any public governmental body for use by that body to devise plans for protection of that infrastructure, the public disclosure of which would threaten public safety.
Records related to the procurement of or expenditures relating to security systems purchased with public funds shall be open;
When seeking to close information pursuant to this exception, the public governmental body shall affirmatively state in writing that disclosure would impair the public governmental body's ability to protect the security or safety of persons or real property and shall in the same writing sate that the public interest in non-disclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the records;
Records that are voluntarily submitted by a non-public entity shall be reviewed by the receiving agency within ninety (90) days of submission to determine if retention of the document is necessary in furtherance of a State security interest. If retention is not necessary, the documents shall be returned to the non-public governmental body or destroyed;
This exception shall expire and be of no further force or effect on December 31, 2008.
Records that identify the configuration of components or the operation of a computer, computer system, computer network or telecommunications network and would allow unauthorized access to or unlawful disruption of a computer, computer system, computer network or telecommunications network of a public governmental body. This exception shall not be used to limit or deny access to otherwise public records in a file, document, data file or database containing public records. Records related to the procurement of or expenditures relating to such computer, computer system, computer network or telecommunications network, including the amount of monies paid by, or on behalf of, a public governmental body for such computer, computer system, computer network or telecommunications network, shall be open.
Credit card numbers, personal identification numbers, digital certificates, physical and virtual keys, access codes or authorization codes that are used to protect the security of electronic transactions between a public governmental body and a person or entity doing business with a public governmental body. Nothing in this Section shall be deemed to close the record of a person or entity using a credit card held in the name of a public governmental body or any record of a transaction made by a person using a credit card or other method of payment for which reimbursement is made by a public governmental body.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998]
All records that may be closed are hereby deemed closed records unless the governmental body votes to make them public.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 2354 §3, 9-8-2004]
In the event any member of a public government body makes a motion to close a meeting, or a record, or a vote from the public and any other member believes that such motion, if passed, would cause a meeting, record or vote to be closed from the public in violation of any provisions in Chapter 610, RSMo., or this Chapter, such latter member shall state his or her objection to the motion at or before the time the vote is taken on the motion. The public governmental body shall enter in the minutes of the public governmental body any objection made pursuant to this Section. Any member making such an objection shall be allowed to fully participate in any meeting, record or vote that is closed from the public over the member's objection. In the event the objecting member also voted in opposition to the motion to close the meeting, record or vote at issue, the objection and vote of the member as entered in the minutes shall be an absolute defense to any claim filed against the objecting member pursuant to Chapter 610, RSMo.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 2354 §4, 9-8-2004]
A public governmental body proposing to hold a closed meeting or vote shall give notice of the time, date and place of such closed meeting or vote and the reason for holding it by reference to the specific exception allowed pursuant to the provisions of Section 140.020 hereof. The notice shall be the same as in Subsection (B) herein. Any meeting or vote closed pursuant to the provisions of Section 140.020 hereof shall be closed only to the extent necessary for the specific reason announced to justify the closed meeting or vote. Public governmental bodies shall not discuss any business in a closed meeting, record or vote which does not directly relate to the specific reason announced to justify the closed meeting or vote. Public governmental bodies holding a closed meeting shall close only an existing portion of the meeting facility necessary to house the members of the public governmental body in the closed session, allowing members of the public to remain to attend any subsequent open session held by the public governmental body following the closed session.
The public governmental body shall give notice of the time, date, place 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 or other prominent place which is easily accessible to the public and clearly designated for that purpose at the St. Ann Government Center.
Notice conforming with all of the requirements of this Section shall be given at least twenty-four (24) hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays when the St. Ann Government Center is closed, prior to the commencement of any meeting of a 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. When it is necessary to hold a meeting on less than twenty-four (24) hours' notice, or at a place other than the St. Ann Government Center, 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. Every reasonable effort shall be made to grant special access to the meeting to handicapped and disabled individuals.
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.
Section 140.060 Records Containing Confidential, Proprietary or Private Information — Penalty for Breach of Confidentiality of Closed Matters. 
[Resolution of 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 2354 §5, 9-8-2004]
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 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:
The City Clerk may afford all interested parties, including the persons to whom the information pertains, a reasonable time within which to comment on the requested discloser prior to acting further on the request. If an interested person objections to the disclosure of the requested information, the City Clerk may conduct a hearing at which all interested parties may be heard. At such hearing the Clerk shall consider, among such other factors as may be reasonable and relevant:
The requirements and intent of State law, City ordinances and this policy;
The legitimate expectations of privacy on the part of interested parties;
The personal, confidential, private or proprietary nature of the information at issue;
Whether the information was obtained by the City under compulsion of law or was freely and voluntarily provided by the persons objecting to the disclosure; and
The public purposes to be served by disclosure of the requested information.
If the City Clerk determines that disclosure is legally required or would otherwise serve the best interests of the public and that such requirements or purpose outweigh the legitimate concerns or interest of the persons to whom the information pertains, the Clerk shall provide the requested information to the requesting party.
In addition to or in lieu of the hearing described above, the City Clerk may afford all interested parties a reasonable opportunity to seek judicial review of or relief from the proposed discloser. The City Clerk may also utilize the procedures for judicial determination and/or opinion solicitation provided in Section 140.140.
Records and information that have been closed pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, Chapter 610, RSMo., and other relevant State and Federal laws and regulations are to be treated as confidential by all employees and elected and appointed officials of the City. It shall be grounds for disciplinary action for any employee to:
Violate the confidentiality relating to such records or information;
Copy or remove closed and/or confidential information without the specific consent to the custodian thereof or in the normal course of performing such employee's duties for the City;
Provide or discuss closed records or confidential information with any person other than as a necessary part of performing such employee's duties for the City; or
Divulge, discuss or disclose information or records addressed in any closed meeting of a public governmental body other than as a necessary part of performing such employee's duties for the City.
Elected and appointed officials are also expected to maintain the same strict standards of confidentiality required of employees. Breach of the confidentiality standards established by this Chapter and required of employees in this Section may be grounds for removal from office or other sanctions as may be deemed appropriate by the body of which such official is a member or by the Board of Aldermen.
Editor's Note — Ord. no. 2354 §5, adopted September 8, 2004, repealed section 140.060 "telephone or electronic meetings" and enacted new provisions set out herein. Former section 140.060 derived from Res. of 9-8-1998.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998]
A formally constituted subunit of a parent governmental body may conduct a meeting without notice 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.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998]
If another provision of law requires a manner of giving specific notice of a meeting, hearing or an intent to take action by a governmental body, compliance with such Section shall constitute compliance with the notice requirements hereof.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 2354 §6, 9-8-2004]
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.
All votes by members of a public governmental body at any meeting shall be recorded. When a roll call vote is taken, the minutes shall attribute each "yes" and "no" vote, or abstinence if not voting, to the name of the individual members of the public governmental body. Any votes taken during a closed meeting shall be taken by roll call and the minutes of the closed meeting, sufficient to reflect the vote pursuant to this Subsection, shall be recorded. 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. All public meeting shall be open to the public and public votes and public records shall be open to the public for inspection and duplication.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 2354 §7, 9-8-2004]
The City Clerk shall be the custodian of records and will be responsible for maintenance and control of all records. The custodian shall provide public access to all public records 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. 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 additional delay is necessary, the custodian shall give a detailed explanation for the delay and the date 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 (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 send, 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.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998]
No person shall remove original public records from the office of a public governmental body or its custodian without written permission of the custodian. No public governmental body shall, after the effective date (9-8-1998) hereof, 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.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 2354 §8, 9-8-2004]
Except as otherwise provided by law, each public governmental body shall provide access to and, upon request, furnish copies of public records subject to the following:
Fees for copying public records shall not exceed ten cents ($.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.
Fees for providing access to public records maintained on computer facilities, recording tape 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 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.
The custodian may require payment prior to duplicating and/or searching for documents.
[Resolution of 9-8-1998]
The custodian may designate deputy custodians as may be appropriate.
[Ord. No. 2354 §9, 9-8-2004]
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 Board of Aldermen, 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 Board of Aldermen, 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, the 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.