[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Moosic as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]A303a Public Record Review Dup Req A303b Denial of Request to Review and or Dup
Article I Audio Recordings
Article II Policy for Access to Public Records
[Adopted by Res. No. 21-1994]
The Council of Moosic Borough does hereby resolve and authorize the Borough Secretary to limit access to the said audio tape recordings to any citizen of the commonwealth or resident of the Borough of Moosic until such minutes of the meeting have been adopted by the Council of Moosic Borough. Subsequent to the adoption of the written record of the meeting as the official minutes of said meeting, any citizen of the commonwealth or resident of the Borough of Moosic shall be provided with access to the audio recording for review.
Editor's Note: This refers to the audio recordings of Borough Council's monthly meetings used by the Borough Secretary in preparing the official minutes.
The Council of Moosic Borough does hereby prohibit the copying, transcribing, or recording of any audio record of a meeting of the Council of the Borough of Moosic. This resolution in no way prohibits the access of any citizen of the commonwealth or resident of the Borough of Moosic to the official minutes of the Borough of Moosic, or any other “public record” as defined under Pennsylvania's Right to Know Law, Act 212 of 1957, codified at 65 P.S. § 66.1 et seq., nor the photocopying or photostating of such public records.
[Adopted 9-9-2008 by Ord. No. 16-2008]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. II, Policy for Access to Public Records, adopted 4-13-2004, and stated that it shall become effective 1-1-2009.
The purpose of this policy is to assure compliance with Act 3 of 2008, the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, as amended; to provide access to public records of Moosic Borough; to preserve the integrity of Moosic Borough's records; and to minimize the financial impact to the residents of the Borough of Moosic regarding the resources utilized in the receipt and processing of public record requests and the retrieval and copying of public records.
It is the policy of the Borough of Moosic to require the presence of a designated employee when public records are examined and inspected and to charge reasonable fees for duplication of public records of the Borough of Moosic. Moosic Borough designates the Administrative Assistant as the Open Records Officer, responsible for assuring compliance with the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, in accordance with the following guidelines:
The Administrative Assistant may designate certain employees to process public record requests.
The Administrative Assistant is responsible for minimizing, where possible, the financial impact to the Borough regarding the resources utilized in the receipt and processing of public record requests and the retrieval and copying of public records.
All requests for public records of the Borough under this policy shall be specific in identifying and describing each public record requested. In no case shall the Borough be required to create a public record which does not exist or to compile, maintain, format or organize a public record in a manner in which the Borough does not currently compile, maintain, format or organize the public record. All requests for public records shall be submitted in writing and include the date of the request; requester's name, address and telephone number; certification of United States residency; signature of requester; and, if duplication is requested, appropriate payment.
The designated employee shall make a good faith effort to determine whether each record requested is a public record.
The Borough shall facilitate a reasonable response to a request for Moosic Borough's public records. In no case is the Borough expected to provide extraordinary staff to respond to the request, but will respond in a manner consistent with the Borough's administrative responsibilities and consistent with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law.
Editor's Note: See 65 P.S. § 67.101 et seq.
The designated employee shall respond to the requester within five business days from the date of receipt of the written request. If the Borough does not respond within five business days of receipt thereof, the request is deemed denied.
If access to the public record requested is approved, the public record shall be available for access during the regular business hours of the Borough. The designated employee shall cooperate fully with the requester, while also taking reasonable measures to protect Borough public records from the possibility of theft and/or modification. The presence of a designated employee is required when public records are examined and inspected.
If the request is being reviewed, the notice provided by the Borough shall be in writing and include the reason for the review and the expected response date, which shall be within 30 days of the notice of review. If the Borough does not respond within 30 days thereof, the request is deemed denied. Review of the request is limited to situations where:
The record requested contains information which is subject to access, as well as information which is not subject to access that must redacted prior to a grant of access. The redacted information is considered a denial as to that information;
The record requires retrieval from a remote location;
A timely response cannot be accomplished due to staffing limitations;
A legal review is necessary to determine whether the record requested is a public record;
The requester has failed to comply with the Borough's policy and procedure requirements;
The requester refuses to pay the applicable fees; or
The extent or nature of the request precludes a response within the required time period.
Upon a determination that one of the factors listed above applies, the Borough shall send written notice to the requester within five business days of receipt of the request for access. The notice shall include a statement notifying the requester that the request for access is being reviewed, the reason for the review, a reasonable date that a response is expected to be provided and an estimate of applicable fees owed when the record becomes available. If the date that a response is expected to be provided is in excess of 30 days, following the five business days allowed for, the request for access shall be deemed denied unless the requester has agreed, in writing, to an extension to the date specified in the notice. If the requester agrees to the extension, the request shall be deemed denied on the day following the date specified in the notice if the agency has not provided a response by that date.
If access to the record requested is denied, the notice provided by the Borough of Moosic shall be in writing as indicated on the form attached hereto entitled "Denial of Request to Review and/or Duplicate Moosic Borough Records."
Editor's Note: A copy of this form is included at the end of this chapter.
If the request is denied or deemed denied, the requester may file an appeal with the Commonwealth's Office of Open Records within 15 business days of the mailing date of the Borough's notice of denial or within 15 days of a deemed denial. The appeal shall state the grounds upon which the requester asserts that the record is a public record and shall address any grounds stated by the agency for delaying or denying the request.
Within 30 days of the mailing date of the final determination of the appeals officer, the requester or Borough may file a petition for review or other document as required by rule of court with the court of Common Pleas for Lackawanna County. The decision of the Court shall contain findings of fact and conclusion of law passed upon the evidence as a whole. The decision shall clearly and concisely explain the rationale for the decision. A petition for review under this section shall stay the release of documents until a decision is issued.
Fees for duplication of public records are to be as established by the Commonwealth's Office of Open Records. The Borough may, at its discretion, waive fees.
In the event the estimated cost of fulfilling a request submitted under this policy is expected to exceed $100, the designated employees shall obtain the expected cost in advance of fulfilling the request to avoid unwarranted expense of Borough's resources.
This policy shall be available for review at the Borough office during normal business hours.
Any ordinance, or part of ordinance, conflicting with this article be and the same is hereby repealed insofar as the same affects this article. The codified ordinance of the Borough of Moosic, "Policy for Access to Public Records," Article II of Chapter A303, is specifically repealed in its entirety.
If any sentence, clause, section, or part of this article is for any reason found to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections or parts of this article. It is hereby declared as the intent of the Moosic Borough Council that this article would have been adopted as if such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid sentence, clause, section or part thereof not been included herein.