[CC 1997 §2.56; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997; Ord. No. 3026-99 §6, 1-6-1999; Ord. No. 3570-04 §6, 8-18-2004]
All meetings, records and votes are open to the public, except that any meeting, record, minutes or vote relating to one (1) or more of the following matters, as well as other materials designated elsewhere in this Article, shall be closed unless the public governmental body votes to make them public:
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 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 monies 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 before such decision is made available to the public. As used in this Subsection, the term "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. It is the policy of the City that no information relating to present or past employees other than names, positions, salaries and lengths of service shall be provided to any person or agency other than as may be required in response to a subpoena lawfully issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, or as otherwise may be required by law.
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; and
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 state 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.
[CC 1997 §2.57; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997]
In order to allow the fullest cooperation by employees and members of the public in investigation of matters wherein an employee of the City is alleged to have engaged in any form of misconduct, all files, records and documents relating to investigations of allegations of misconduct by City employees will be considered to be personnel records and shall be closed records under the custody of the respective department head.
[CC 1997 §2.58; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997]
All information obtained by the City regarding medical examinations, medical condition or medical history of City employees or job applicants, if retained by the City, shall be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and shall be treated as closed and confidential records, except that:
Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work duties of employees and necessary accommodations;
First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the information reflects the existence of a disability which might require emergency treatment; or
Government officials investigating compliance with State or Federal law pertaining to treatment of persons with disabilities may be allowed access to such records.
[CC 1997 §2.59; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997]
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 custodian of records for disclosure of material to be specified in the request, which request should state:
The custodian of records may afford all interested parties, including the persons to whom the information pertains, a reasonable time within which to comment on the requested disclosure prior to acting further on the request. If an interested person objects to the disclosure of the requested information, the custodian of records may conduct a hearing at which all interested parties may be heard. At such hearing the custodian 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.
In addition to or in lieu of the hearing described above, the custodian of records may afford all interested parties a reasonable opportunity to seek judicial review of or relief from the proposed disclosure. The custodian may also utilize the procedures for judicial determination and/or opinion solicitation provided in Section 120.130, below.
[CC 1997 §2.60; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997]
If a public record contains material which is not exempt from disclosure, as well as material which is exempt from disclosure, the custodian shall separate the exempt and non-exempt material and make the non-exempt material available for examination and copying in accord with the policies provided herein. When designing a public record the custodian shall, to the extent practicable, facilitate a separation of exempt from non-exempt information. If the separation is readily apparent to a person requesting to inspect or receive copies of the form, the custodian shall generally describe the material exempted unless that description would reveal the contents of the exempt information and thus defeat the purpose of the exemption.
[CC 1997 §2.61; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997; Ord. No. 3026-99 §7, 1-6-1999; Ord. No. 3570-04 §7, 8-18-2004]
A public governmental body proposing to hold a closed meeting or vote may do so by either:
Giving notice of same pursuant to Section 120.020 above along with reference to the specific exception allowing such a closed meeting under State law; or
Upon an affirmative public vote of the majority of a quorum of the public governmental body. The vote of each member of the public governmental body on the question of closing a public meeting or vote and the specific reason for closing that public meeting or vote by reference to the specific exception allowing such a closed meeting under State law shall be announced publicly at an open meeting of the governmental body and entered into the minutes.
If a vote is taken at a closed meeting, minutes of the closed meeting, sufficient to reflect the vote pursuant to Section 120.030 above, shall be recorded.
Any meeting or vote closed pursuant to Section 610.021, RSMo., 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.
In the event any member of a public governmental 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 provision 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 Subsection. 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.
[CC 1997 §2.62; Ord. No. 2852-97, 4-16-1997]
The City, or any of its public governmental bodies, or the custodian of records, when in doubt about the legality of closing a particular meeting, record, or vote, may bring suit at the expense of the City in the Circuit Court of the County of St. Louis to ascertain the propriety of any such action, or seek a formal opinion of the Attorney General or of the City Attorney. 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.
[Ord. No. 3570-04 §8, 8-18-2004]
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 of 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 City Council.