Town of Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Oconomowoc as Secs. 1.25 to 1.33 of the 1986 Town Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In recognition of the fact that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to be the public policy of this Town that all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those officers and employees who represent them. Further, providing persons with such information is declared to be an essential function of a representative government and an integral part of the routine duties of officers and employees whose responsibility it is to provide such information.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AUTHORITY
Any of the following Town entities having custody of a Town record: an office, elected or appointed official, agency, board, commission, committee, council, municipal court, department or public body corporate and politic created by constitution, law, ordinance, rule or order; or a formally constituted subunit of the foregoing.
CUSTODIAN
That officer, department head, division head or employee of the Town designated under § 57-4 or otherwise responsible by law to keep and preserve any Town records or file, deposit or keep such records in his or her office, or who is lawfully in possession or entitled to possession of such public records and who is required by this chapter to respond to requests for access to such records.
RECORD
Any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual or electromagnetic information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which has been created or is being kept by an authority. "Record" includes, but is not limited to, handwritten, typed or printed pages, maps, charts, photographs, films, recordings, tapes (including computer tapes), and computer printouts. "Record" does not include drafts, notes, preliminary computations and like materials prepared for the originator's personal use or prepared by the originator in the name of a person for whom the originator is working; materials which are purely the personal property of the custodian and have no relation to his or her office; materials to which access is limited by copyright, patent or bequest; and published materials in the possession of an authority other than a public library which are available for sale, or which are available for inspection at a public library.
A. 
Except as provided under § 57-8, each officer and employee of the Town shall safely keep and preserve all records received from his or her predecessor or other persons and required by law to be filed, deposited or kept in his or her office or which are in the lawful possession or control of the officer or employee or his or her deputies, or to the possession or control of which he or she or they may be lawfully entitled as such officers or employees.
B. 
Upon the expiration of an officer's term of office or an employee's term of employment, or whenever the office or position of employment becomes vacant, each such officer or employee shall deliver to his or her successor all records then in his or her custody and the successor shall give a receipt therefor to the officer or employee, who shall file such receipt with the Town Clerk. If a vacancy occurs before a successor is selected or qualifies, such records shall be delivered to and be receipted for by the Clerk, on behalf of the successor, to be delivered to such successor upon the latter's receipt.
A. 
Each elected or appointed official is the legal custodian of his or her records and the records of his or her office, but the official may designate an employee of his or her staff to act as the legal custodian.
B. 
Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the Town Clerk or the Clerk's designee shall act as legal custodian for the Town Board and for any committees, commissions, boards or other authorities created by ordinance or resolution of the Town Board.
C. 
For every authority not specified in Subsection A or B, the authority's chief administrative officer is the legal custodian for the authority, but the officer may designate an employee of his or her staff to act as the legal custodian.
D. 
Each legal custodian shall name a person to act as legal custodian in his or her absence or the absence of his or her designee.
E. 
The legal custodian shall have full legal power to render decisions and to carry out the duties of an authority under Subch. II of Ch. 19, Wis. Stats., and this chapter. The designation of a legal custodian does not affect the powers and duties of an authority under this chapter.
A. 
Except as provided in § 57-6, any person has a right to inspect a record and to make or receive a copy of any record as provided in § 19.35(1), Wis. Stats.
B. 
Records will be available for inspection and copying during all regular office hours.
C. 
If regular office hours are not maintained at the location where records are kept, the records will be available for inspection and copying upon at least 48 hours' advance notice of intent to inspect or copy.
D. 
A requester shall be permitted to use facilities comparable to those available to Town employees to inspect, copy or abstract a record.
E. 
The legal custodian may require supervision during inspection or may impose other reasonable restrictions on the manner of access to an original record if the record is irreplaceable or easily damaged.
F. 
A requester shall be charged a fee to defray the cost of locating and copying records as follows:
(1) 
The cost of photocopying shall be $0.25 per page. Such cost has been calculated not to exceed the actual, necessary and direct cost of reproduction.
(2) 
If the form of a written record does not permit copying, the actual and necessary cost of photographing and photographic processing shall be charged.
(3) 
The actual full cost of providing a copy of other records not in printed form on paper, such as films, computer printouts and audiotapes or videotapes, shall be charged.
(4) 
If mailing or shipping is necessary, the actual cost thereof shall also be charged.
(5) 
There shall be no charge for locating a record unless the actual cost therefor exceeds $50, in which case the actual cost shall be determined by the legal custodian and billed to the requester.
(6) 
The legal custodian shall estimate the cost of all applicable fees and may require a cash deposit adequate to assure payment if such estimate exceeds $5.
(7) 
Elected and appointed officials of the Town shall not be required to pay for public records they may reasonably require for the proper performance of their official duties.
(8) 
The legal custodian may provide copies of a record without charge or at a reduced charge where he or she determines that waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest.
G. 
Pursuant to § 19.34, Wis. Stats., and the guidelines therein listed, each authority shall adopt, prominently display and make available for inspection and copying at its offices, for the guidance of the public, a notice containing a description of its organization and the established times and places at which, the legal custodian from whom, and the methods whereby the public may obtain information and access to records in its custody, make requests for records, or obtain copies of records, and the costs thereof. Each authority shall also prominently display at its offices, for the guidance of the public, a copy of §§ 57-5 through 57-8. This subsection does not apply to members of the Town Board.
A. 
A request to inspect or copy a record shall be made to the legal custodian. A request shall be deemed sufficient if it reasonably describes the requested record or the information requested. However, a request for a record without a reasonable limitation as to the subject matter or length of time represented by the record does not constitute a sufficient request. A request may be made orally, but a request must be in writing before an action to enforce the request is commenced under § 19.37, Wis. Stats. Except as provided below, no request may be refused because the person making the request is unwilling to be identified or to state the purpose of the request. No request may be refused because the request is received by mail, unless prepayment of a fee is required under § 57-5F(5). A requester may be required to show acceptable identification whenever the requested record is kept at a private residence or whenever security reasons or federal law or regulations so require.
B. 
Each custodian, upon request for any record, shall, as soon as practicable and without delay, either fill the request or notify the requester of the authority's determination to deny the request in whole or in part and the reasons therefor. If the legal custodian, after conferring with the Town Attorney, determines that a written request is so general as to be unduly time consuming, the party making the request may first be required to itemize his or her request in a manner which would permit reasonable compliance.
C. 
A request for a record may be denied as provided in § 57-7. If a request is made orally, the request may be denied orally unless a demand for a written statement of the reasons denying the request is made by the requester within five business days of the oral denial. If a written request is denied in whole or in part, the requester shall receive a written statement of the reasons for denying the request. Every written denial of a request shall inform the requester that if the request for the record was made in writing, then the determination is subject to review upon petition for a writ of mandamus under § 19.37(1), Wis. Stats., or upon application to the Attorney General or a District Attorney.
A. 
As provided by § 19.36, Wis. Stats., the following records are exempt from inspection under this chapter:
(1) 
Records specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal law or authorized to be exempted from disclosure by state law.
(2) 
Any record relating to investigative information obtained for law enforcement purposes if federal law or regulations require exemption from disclosure or if exemption from disclosure is a condition to receipt of aids by the state.
(3) 
Computer programs, although the material used as input for a computer program or the material produced as a product of the computer program is subject to inspection.
(4) 
A record or any portion of a record containing information qualifying as a common law trade secret.
B. 
As provided by § 43.30, Wis. Stats., public library circulation records are exempt from inspection under this section.
C. 
In responding to a request for inspection or copying of a record which is not specifically exempt from disclosure, the legal custodian, after conferring with the Town Attorney, may deny the request, in whole or in part, only if he or she determines that the harm to the public interest resulting from disclosure would outweigh the public interest in full access to the requested record. Examples of matters for which disclosure may be refused include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) 
Records obtained under official pledges of confidentiality which were necessary and given in order to obtain the information contained in them.
(2) 
Records of current deliberations after a quasijudicial hearing.
(3) 
Records of current deliberations regarding any Town officer or employee concerning employment, dismissal, demotion, compensation, performance or discipline, or the investigation of charges against a Town officer or employee, unless such officer or employee consents to such disclosure.
(4) 
Records concerning current strategy for crime detection or prevention.
(5) 
Records of current deliberations or negotiations on the purchase of Town property, investing of Town funds or other Town business whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require nondisclosure.
(6) 
Financial, medical, social or personal histories or disciplinary data of specific persons which, if disclosed, would be likely to have a substantial adverse effect upon the reputation of any person referred to in such history or data.
(7) 
Communications between legal counsel for the Town and any officer, agent or employee of the Town, when advice is being rendered concerning strategy with respect to current litigation in which the Town or any of its officers, agents or employees is or is likely to become involved, or communications which are privileged under § 905.03, Wis. Stats.
D. 
If a record contains information that may be made public and information that may not be made public, the custodian of the record shall provide the information that may be made public and delete the information that may not be made public from the record before release. The custodian shall confer with the Town Attorney prior to releasing any such record and shall follow the guidance of the Town Attorney when separating out the exempt material. If, in the judgment of the custodian and the Town Attorney, there is no feasible way to separate the exempt material from the nonexempt material without unreasonably jeopardizing nondisclosure of the exempt material, the entire record shall be withheld from disclosure.
[Amended 4-2-2001]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish records retention schedules and authorize destruction of records pursuant to the schedule on an annual basis. Records custodians do not have the authority to destroy records prior to the established retention period unless such records have been photographically reproduced as original records pursuant to § 16.61(7), Wis. Stats., and under this section.
B. 
Destruction after request for inspection. No requested record may be destroyed until after the request is granted or 60 days after the request is denied. If an action is commenced under § 19.37, Wis. Stats., the requested record may not be destroyed until a court order is issued and all appeals have been completed.
C. 
Destruction pending litigation. No record subject to pending litigation shall be destroyed until the litigation has been resolved.
D. 
Microfilming records. Any records can be kept on microfilm, provided the applicable standards established in § 16.61(7), Wis. Stats., are met. Factors such as retention periods and estimated costs and benefits of converting records between different media should be considered in deciding whether or not to microfilm. The retention periods identified in this chapter apply to records in any media.
E. 
Historical records. The State Historical Society of Wisconsin (SHSW) has waived the required sixty-day statutory notice under § 19.21(4)(a), Wis. Stats., for the records marked "WI," which designates waived notice. SHSW must be notified prior to the destruction of records marked "N," designating nonwaiver. "N/A" indicates "not applicable" and applies to all records designated for permanent retention.
F. 
Town officers may destroy the following nonutility financial records of which they are the legal custodians and which are considered obsolete but not less than seven years after payment or receipt of any sum involved in the particular transaction, unless a shorter period has been fixed by the State Public Records Board pursuant to § 16.61(3)(e), Wis. Stats., and then after such shorter period:
Retention
SHSW* Notification
Bank statements, deposit books, slips and stubs
CR + 7
W
Cancelled checks, duplicates and check stubs
CR + 7
W
Receipt forms
CR + 7
W
Vouchers, requisitions, purchase orders and all other supporting documents pertaining thereto
CR + 7
W
Bonds and coupons after maturity
EVT + 7
W
License and permit applications, stubs and duplicates
CR + 7
W
Official bonds
CR + 7
W
Payrolls and other time and employment records of personnel included under the Wisconsin Retirement Plan
CR + 7
W
Special assessment records
CR + 7
W
NOTE:
*
State Historical Society of Wisconsin
G. 
Town officers may destroy the following utility records of which they are the legal custodians and which are considered obsolete but not less than seven years after the record was effective unless a shorter period has been fixed by the State Public Records Board pursuant to § 16.61(3)(e), Wis. Stats., and then after such a shorter period, except that sewer and water stubs, receipts of current billings and customers' ledgers may be destroyed after two years:
Retention
SHSW* Notification
Contracts
CR + 7
W
Excavation permits
CR + 7
W
Inspection records
CR + 7
W
Water stubs
CR + 2
W
Sewer rental charge stubs
CR + 2
W
Receipts of current billings
CR + 2
W
Customers' ledgers
CR + 2
W
H. 
Town officers may destroy the following records of which they are the legal custodian and which are considered obsolete, but not less than seven years after the record was effective unless another period has been set forth below or by statute, and then after such a period, or unless a shorter period has been fixed by the State Public Records Board pursuant to § 16.61(3)(e), Wis. Stats., and then after such a shorter period:
Retention
SHSW* Notification
Insurance policies
1.
12 years for policies relating to workers compensation
EVT + 12
W
2.
Permanent retention of master policies
P
N/A
3.
7 years for all others
EVT + 7
W
Assessment rolls and related records, including Board of Review minutes, shall be maintained for 20 years
CR + 20
N
Contracts and papers relating thereto
CR + 7
W
Correspondence and communications
CR + 7
W
Financial reports, other than annual financial reports
CR + 7
W
Oaths of office
CR + 7
W
Reports of boards, commissions, committees and officials duplicated in the Council minutes may be destroyed after 1 year
CR + 1
W
Petitions
CR + 7
W
Traffic forfeiture case files may be destroyed after 2 years from date of adjudication
EVT + 2
W
Ordinance violation case files may be destroyed after 2 years from date of adjudication
EVT + 2
W
I. 
Any tape recordings of a governmental meeting of the Town may be destroyed, erased or reused no sooner than 90 days after the minutes of the meeting have been approved and published, if the purpose of the recording was to make minutes of the meeting.
J. 
Police Department records. All of the records listed below have been given a "W" designation by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Required statutory sixty-day notice under § 19.21(4)(a), Wis. Stats., has been waived for these records.
Retention
SHSW* Notification
Radio tape recordings
CR + 120 days
W
Videotapes of patrol activities
CR + 120 days
W
Overnight parking permissions
CR + 120 days
W
Jail register
CR + 7 years
W
Personnel files
CR + 7 years
W
Incidents and complaints
CR + 7 years
W
Arrest records, including support documents
EVT + 7 years
W
Traffic and parking ordinance violations
EVT + 1 year
W
Municipal ordinance violations
EVT + 2 years
W
Traffic accident reports
EVT + 8 years
W
Juvenile violation reports
EVT + 7 years
W
Municipal or circuit court dockets (final decision)
EVT + 180 days
W
Fine and fee collection record
CR + 3 years
W
Correspondence
CR + 7 years
W
Purchase orders
EVT + 7 years
W
License and permit applications and related investigations
EVT + 7 years
W
Bicycle licenses
EVT + 3 years
W
Administrative reports and statistics
CR + 7 years
W
Property inventory reports
EVT (until superseded)
W
Calls for service logs
CR + 3 years
W
Vacant property check requests
CR + 2 years
W
Vehicle maintenance records
Date of disposal + 3 years
W
Radio logbooks
CR + 3 years
W
Teletype message records
CR + 3 years
W
Dispatch case number assignments
CR + 3 years
W
K. 
Election records. All materials and supplies associated with an election may be destroyed according to the following schedule unless there is a recount or litigation pending with respect to the election:
Retention
SHSW* Notification
Contents of a blank ballot box, unused ballots and materials
EVT + 3 business days after the canvass is complete
W
Voter serial number slips
EVT + 90 days after the canvass is complete
W
Voting machine records
EVT + 14 days after a primary; 21 days after an election**
W
Detachable recording units electronic
EVT + 14 days after a primary; 21 days after an election***
W
Ballots (state, county, local)
EVT + 30 after the election
W
Ballots (federal offices)****
EVT + 22 months after election
W
Applications for absentee ballots (for federal election ballots)
EVT + 90 days after election; 22 months after election for federal offices
W
Forms associated with election, such as tally sheets, inspector's statements and nomination papers
EVT + 90 days after election; 22 months after election for federal offices
W
Official canvass statements
EVT + 10 years after election
W
Registration and poll lists — nonpartisan primaries and elections
EVT + 2 years after election for which they were created
W
Registration and poll lists — partisan primaries and elections
EVT + 4 years after election for which they were created
W
Cancelled registration cards
EVT + 4 years after cancellation
W
Election notices
EVT + 1 year after the election; 22 months for federal election
W
Proof of publication and correspondence relative to publications
EVT + 1 year after the election; 22 months for federal election
W
Campaign registration
EVT + 6 years after termination statements by the registrant
W
Campaign finance reports
EVT + 6 years after date of receipt
W
NOTES:
*
The State Historical Society of Wisconsin (SHSW) has designated the above records as "W," signifying waived notice.
**
The Governor may by order permit the clearing of voting machine recorders before this date if a special election is called.
***
Before units can be cleared or erased, the following information must be transferred to a disk or other recording medium and retained for 22 months.
****
Federal offices are President of the United States, United States Senator and Representative.
L. 
Legend.
(1) 
"Retention period" refers to the time that the identified records must be kept until destruction.
(2) 
"CR" stands for "creation," which usually refers to receipt or creation of the record.
(3) 
"EVT" stands for "event" and refers to an occurrence that starts the retention "clock ticking"; e.g., close of contract, termination of employee and disposition of a case are common "events."
(4) 
"P" stands for "permanent retention."
(5) 
"W" indicates that records are not historical and the required notification is waived.
(6) 
N indicates that records may have secondary historical value and therefore SHSW notification is required on a case-by-case basis prior to destruction.
(7) 
"N/A" stands for "not applicable" and refers to those circumstances where a local government unit is retaining a record permanently.
Any Town officer or the director of any department or division of Town government may, subject to the approval of the Town Board, keep and preserve public records in his or her possession by means of microfilm or other photographic reproduction method. Such records shall meet the standards for photographic reproduction set forth in § 16.61(7)(a) and (b), Wis. Stats., and shall be considered original records for all purposes. Such records shall be preserved along with other files of the department or division and shall be open to public inspection and copying according to the provisions of state law and of §§ 57-5 through 57-8 of this chapter.