City of Weldon Spring, MO
St. Charles County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1]
Editor's Note — Ord. no. 04-15 adopted August 26, 2004, amended this article without any direction as to what was specifically to be amended. At the editor's discretion, we have placed it as follows: §1 has been set out in subsection C of 120.020 and §2(1 and 2) are set out as subsections (A) and (B) of section 120.020; §2(3, 4, 6) are set out in subsections (A, B, D) of section 120.060; §2(5) is set out in section 120.090(A); §2(7) is set out in section 120.110 (replacing it in it's entirety); §3 is set out as a new section 120.125: violations — fines.
As used in this Chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms mean:
CLOSED MEETING, CLOSED RECORD or CLOSED VOTE
Any meeting, record or vote closed to the public.
COPYING
If requested by a member of the public, copies provided in accord with the cost schedule established by this Article, if duplication equipment is available.
PUBLIC BUSINESS
All matters which relate in any way to performance of the City's functions or the conduct of its business.
PUBLIC GOVERNMENTAL BODY
Any legislative, administrative or governmental entity created by the Constitution or Statutes of this State, orders or ordinances of the City, judicial entities when operating in an administrative capacity or by executive order, including:
1. 
Any advisory committee or commission appointed by the Mayor or Board of Aldermen.
2. 
Any department or division of the City.
3. 
Any other legislative or administrative governmental deliberative body under the direction of three (3) or more elected or appointed members having rulemaking or quasi-judicial power.
4. 
Any committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the entities and which is authorized to report to any of the above-named entities, any advisory committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the named entities for the specific purpose of recommending, directly to the public governmental body's governing board or its Chief Administrative Officer, policy or policy revisions or expenditures of public funds.
5. 
Any quasi-public governmental body. The term "quasi-public governmental body" means any person, corporation or partnership organized or authorized to do business in this State pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 352, 353 or 355, RSMo., or unincorporated association which either:
a. 
Has as its primary purpose to enter into contracts with public governmental bodies or to engage primarily in activities carried out pursuant to an agreement or agreements with public governmental bodies; or
b. 
Performs a public function, as evidenced by a statutorily or ordinance-based capacity, to confer or otherwise advance, through approval, recommendation or other means, the allocation or issuance of tax credits, tax abatement, public debt, tax exempt debt, rights of eminent domain, or the contracting of lease-back agreements on structures whose annualized payments commit public tax revenues; or any association that directly accepts the appropriation of money from the City, but only to the extent that a meeting, record or vote relates to such appropriation.
PUBLIC MEETING
Any meeting of a public governmental body subject to this Chapter at which any public business is discussed, decided or public policy formulated, whether corporeal or by means of communication equipment. 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 this Chapter, but the term shall include a 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 and presented to the public governmental body by a consultant or other professional service paid for in whole or in part by public funds. 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 said body, unless such records are retained by the public governmental body or presented at a public meeting.
PUBLIC VOTE
Any vote cast at any public meeting of any public governmental body.
[Ord. No. 04-15 §§1, 2(1 — 2), 8-26-2004]
A. 
All meetings, records and votes are open to the public, except the governmental body may close any meeting, record or vote relating to the following:
1. 
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 vote relating to litigation involving a public governmental body shall be made public upon final disposition of the matter voted upon; 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.
2. 
Lease, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the legal consideration therefore. However, any vote or public record approving a contract relating to the lease, 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.
3. 
Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting an employee of a public governmental body. 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 must be made available 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 before such decision is made available to the public.
4. 
Non-judicial, mental or physical health proceedings involving identifiable persons, including medical, psychiatric, psychological or alcoholism or drug dependency diagnosis or treatment.
5. 
Testing and examination materials, before the test or examination is given or if it is to be given again, before so given again.
6. 
Welfare cases of identifiable individuals.
7. 
Preparation, including any discussions or work product, on behalf of a public governmental body or its representatives for negotiations with employee groups.
8. 
Software codes for electronic data processing and documentation thereof.
9. 
Specifications for competitive bidding until either the specifications are officially approved by the public governmental body or the specifications are published for bid.
10. 
Sealed bids and related documents until the earlier of either when the bids are opened or all bids are accepted or all bids or rejected.
11. 
Individually identifiable personnel records, performance ratings or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment, except that this exemption shall not apply to names, positions, salaries and lengths of service of officers and employees of public agencies once they are employed as such.
12. 
Records that are protected from disclosure by law.
13. 
Meetings and public records relating to scientific and technological innovations in which the owner has a proprietary interest.
B. 
All records that may be closed hereby are deemed closed records unless the governmental body votes to make them public. Before closing a meeting to the public, a majority of the quorum of the governmental body must vote to do so in a public vote. The vote of each member of the governmental body on the question of closing the meeting or vote and the reason for closing the meeting shall be referenced to a specific exception and shall be announced at a public meeting and entered into the minutes.
C. 
If a meeting is to be conducted by telephone or over the internet (such as a chat room), the notice of the meeting must include the mode by which the meeting will occur, and the notice must be posted on the public body's website. The City also must allow for the recording of its meetings by audio, video or other electronic means, and may adopt guidelines regarding the manner in which recordings are conducted to minimize disruption of the meeting.
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.
A. 
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:
1. 
Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work duties of employees and necessary accommodations;
2. 
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
3. 
Government officials investigating compliance with State or Federal law pertaining to treatment of persons with disabilities may be allowed access to such records.
A. 
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:
1. 
Whether or not the requesting party has informed persons to whom the requested information pertains of the request; and
2. 
All reasons why the requesting party believes disclosure by the City of the specified information is in the public interest.
B. 
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 disclosure prior to acting further on the request. If an interested person objects 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:
1. 
The requirements and intent of State law, City ordinances and this policy;
2. 
The legitimate expectations of privacy on the part of interested parties;
3. 
The personal, confidential, private or proprietary nature of the information at issue;
4. 
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
5. 
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.
C. 
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 disclosure. The City Clerk may also utilize the procedures for judicial determination and/or opinion solicitation provided in Section 120.120.
[Ord. No. 04-15 §2(3,4,6), 8-26-2004]
A. 
The governmental body shall give notice of the time, date and place of a closed meeting and the reason for holding it by reference to a specific exception. The notice shall be the same as in Subsection (D) below. No other business may be discussed in a closed meeting that does not directly relate to the specified reason announced to close the meeting to the public.
B. 
The governmental body shall give notice of the time, date, place and tentative agenda of each meeting. The notice shall be placed on the appropriate bulletin board at City Hall at least twenty-four (24) hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays, prior to the meeting. If an emergency makes it impossible to give twenty-four (24) hours' notice, the reason must be reflected in the minutes. Notice also shall be given to any representative of the news media who requests notice of a particular meeting.
C. 
Each 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 a specific exception allowed pursuant to Section 120.020 hereof. The notice shall be the same as described in Subsection (A) herein.
D. 
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.
A. 
Except as set forth in Subsection (C) of Section 120.060, no meeting or vote may be closed without an affirmative public vote of the majority of a quorum of the public governmental body. The vote of each member of the 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 a specific Section of this Chapter shall be announced publicly at an open meeting of the governmental body and entered into the minutes.
B. 
Any meeting or vote closed pursuant to Section 120.020 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. Public governmental bodies holding a closed meeting must 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.
A. 
Except as provided in Section 120.020, rules authorized pursuant to Article III of the Missouri Constitution and as otherwise provided by law, all votes shall be recorded, and if a roll call is taken, as to attribute each "yea" and "nay" vote, or abstinence if not voting, to the name of the individual member of the public governmental body. Any votes taken during a closed meeting or session shall be taken by roll call. All public meetings shall be open to the public and public votes and public records shall be open to the public for inspection and duplication.
B. 
A journal or minutes of open meetings shall be taken and retained by the public governmental body including, but not limited to, a record of any vote taken at such meeting. The minutes shall include the date, time, place, members present, members absent, and a record of votes taken. When a roll call vote is taken, the minutes shall attribute each "yea" and "nay" vote, or abstinence if not voting, to the name of the individual member of the public governmental body.
[Ord. No. 04-15 §2(5), 8-26-2004]
A. 
Each meeting shall be held at a place reasonably accessible to the public and at a time reasonably convenient to the public, unless for good cause such a place or time in impossible or impractical. When it is necessary to hold a meeting on less than twenty-four (24) hours' notice, or at a place that is not reasonably accessible to the public, 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.
B. 
When it is necessary to hold a meeting on less than twenty-four (24) hours' notice, or at a place that is not reasonably accessible to the public, 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.
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.
[Ord. No. 04-15 §2(7), 8-26-2004]
A. 
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 not later than the third (3rd) business day following the date the request is received by the custodian. If additional delay is necessary, the custodian shall give an explanation for the delay and the date the record will be available for inspection.
B. 
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 the request for the statement is received.
C. 
The custodian shall receive (or may require) payment prior to duplicating documents.
D. 
The custodian may designate deputy custodians in departments of the City.
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 at the expense of the public governmental body in the Circuit Court for the County of St. Charles 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.
[Ord. No. 04-15 §3, 8-26-2004]
Upon finding by a preponderance of the evidence that a public governmental body or a member of a public governmental body has purposely violated Sections 610.010 to 610.027, RSMo., the public governmental body or the member shall be subject to a civil fine in the amount of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). The penalty for unknowingly violating these provisions shall be an amount of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). There is an absolute defense for an Alderman to any claim filed against that Alderman alleging a violation of the Sunshine Law. This absolute defense occurs when an Alderman objects to and votes against a closed session and the court may order the payment by such body or member of all costs and reasonable attorney fees to any party successfully establishing a violation of Sections 610.010 to 610.028, RSMo.
[Ord. No. 98-31 §1, 9-8-1998]
A. 
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:
1. 
Fees for copying public records shall not exceed the actual cost of document search and duplication. Upon request, the governmental body shall certify in writing that the actual cost of document search and duplication is fair, reasonable and does not exceed the actual cost incurred by the public governmental body. Documents may be furnished without charge or at a reduced charge when the public governmental body determines that waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the public governmental body and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
2. 
Fees for providing access to public records maintained on computer facilities, recording tapes or discs, video tapes or films, pictures, slides, graphics, illustrations or similar audio or visual items or devices shall include only the cost of copies, staff time required for making copies and programming, if necessary, and the disk or tape used for the duplication. Payment of such copying fees may be requested prior to the making of copies.
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the following definitions:
ARREST
An actual restraint of the person of the defendant, or by his/her submission to the custody of the officer, under authority of a warrant or otherwise for a criminal violation which results in the issuance of a summons or the person being booked.
ARREST REPORT
A record of a law enforcement agency of an arrest and of any detention or confinement incident thereto together with the charge therefor.
INACTIVE
An investigation in which no further action will be taken by a law enforcement agency or officer for any of the following reasons:
1. 
A decision by the law enforcement agency not to pursue the case.
2. 
Expiration of the time to file criminal charges pursuant to the applicable statute of limitations or ten (10) years after the commission of the offense, whichever date earliest occurs.
3. 
Finality of the convictions of all persons convicted on the basis of the information contained in the investigative report, by exhaustion of or expiration of all rights of appeal of such persons.
INCIDENT REPORT
A record of a law enforcement agency consisting of the date, time, specific location, name of the victim, and immediate facts and circumstances surrounding the initial report of a crime or incident, including any logs of reported crimes, accidents and complaints maintained by that agency.
INVESTIGATIVE REPORT
A record, other than an arrest or incident report, prepared by personnel of a law enforcement agency inquiring into a crime or suspected crime either in response to an incident report or in response to evidence developed by Law Enforcement Officers in the course of their duties.
A. 
The Police Department of the City shall maintain records of all incidents reported to the Police Department and investigations and arrests made by the Police Department. All incident reports and arrest reports shall be open records. Notwithstanding any other provision of law other than the provisions of Subsection (C) of this Section or Section 320.083, RSMo., investigative reports of the Police Department are closed records until the investigation becomes inactive. If any person is arrested and not charged with an offense against the law within thirty (30) days of the person's arrest, the arrest report shall thereafter be a closed record except that the disposition portion of the record may be accessed except as provided in Section 120.170.
B. 
Except as provided in Subsections (C) and (D) of this Section, if any portion of a record or document of a Police Department Officer or the Police Department, other than an arrest report, which would otherwise be open, contains information that is reasonably likely to pose a clear and present danger to the safety of any victim, witness, undercover officer or other person; or jeopardize a criminal investigation, including records which would disclose the identity of a source wishing to remain confidential or a suspect not in custody; or which would disclose techniques, procedures or guidelines for Police Department investigations or prosecutions, that portion of the record shall be closed and shall be redacted from any record made available pursuant to this Chapter.
C. 
Any person, attorney for a person, or insurer of a person involved in any incident or whose property is involved in an incident may obtain any records closed pursuant to this Section or Section 120.170 for purposes of investigation of any civil claim or defense as provided by this Subsection. Any individual, his/her attorney or insurer involved in an incident or whose property is involved in an incident, upon written request, may obtain a complete unaltered and unedited incident report concerning the incident and may obtain access to other records closed by the Police Department pursuant to this Section. Within thirty (30) days of such request, the Police Department shall provide the requested material or file a motion pursuant to this Subsection with the Circuit Court having jurisdiction over the Police Department stating that the safety of the victim, witness or other individual cannot be reasonably ensured, or that a criminal investigation is likely to be jeopardized. Pursuant to Section 610.100(4), RSMo., if, based on such motion, the court finds for the Police Department, the court shall either order the record closed or order such portion of the record that should be closed to be redacted from any record made available pursuant to this Subsection.
D. 
The victim of an offense as provided in Chapter 566, RSMo., may request that his/her identity be kept confidential until a charge relating to such incident is filed.
If the person arrested is charged but the case is subsequently nolle prossed, dismissed, or the accused is found not guilty, or imposition of sentence is suspended in the court in which the action is prosecuted, official records pertaining to the case shall thereafter be closed records when such case is finally terminated, except as provided in Section 120.170 and except that the court's judgment or order or the final action taken by the prosecutor in such matters may be accessed. If the accused is found not guilty due to mental disease or defect pursuant to Section 552.030, RSMo., official records pertaining to the case shall thereafter be closed records upon such findings, except that the disposition may be accessed only by law enforcement agencies, child care agencies, facilities as defined in Section 198.006, RSMo., and in-home services provider agencies as defined in Section 660.250, RSMo., in the manner established by Section 120.170.
A. 
Records required to be closed shall not be destroyed; they shall be inaccessible to the general public and to all persons other than the defendant except as provided in this Section and Section 43.507, RSMo. The closed records shall be available to: criminal justice agencies for the administration of criminal justice pursuant to Section 43.500, RSMo., criminal justice employment, screening persons with access to criminal justice facilities, procedures, and sensitive information; to law enforcement agencies for issuance or renewal of a license, permit, certification, or registration of authority from such agency including but not limited to watchmen, security personnel, private investigators, and persons seeking permits to purchase or possess a firearm; those agencies authorized by Section 43.543, RSMo., to submit and when submitting fingerprints to the central repository; the Sentencing Advisory Commission created in Section 558.019, RSMo., for the purpose of studying sentencing practices in accordance with Section 43.507, RSMo.; to qualified entities for the purpose of screening providers defined in Section 43.540, RSMo.; the Department of Revenue for driver license administration; the Division of Workers' Compensation for the purposes of determining eligibility for crime victims' compensation pursuant to Sections 595.010 to 595.075, RSMo., Department of Health and Senior Services for the purpose of licensing and regulating facilities and regulating in-home services provider agencies and Federal agencies for purposes of criminal justice administration, criminal justice employment, child, elderly, or disabled care, and for such investigative purposes as authorized by law or presidential executive order.
B. 
These records shall be made available only for the purposes and to the entities listed in this Section. A criminal justice agency receiving a request for criminal history information under its control may require positive identification, to include fingerprints of the subject of the record search, prior to releasing closed record information. Dissemination of closed and open records from the Missouri criminal records repository shall be in accordance with Section 43.509, RSMo. All records which are closed records shall be removed from the records of the Police Department and Municipal Court which are available to the public and shall be kept in separate records which are to be held confidential and, where possible, pages of the public record shall be retyped or rewritten omitting those portions of the record which deal with the defendant's case. If retyping or rewriting is not feasible because of the permanent nature of the record books, such record entries shall be blacked out and recopied in a confidential book.
Excepted as provided by this Section, any information acquired by the Police Department by way of a complaint or report of a crime made by telephone contact using the emergency number "911" shall be inaccessible to the general public. However, information consisting of the date, time, specific location, and immediate facts and circumstances surrounding the initial report of the crime or incident shall be considered to be an incident report and subject to Section 120.150. Any closed records pursuant to this Section shall be available upon request by law enforcement agencies or the Division of Workers' Compensation or pursuant to a valid court order authorizing disclosure upon motion and good cause shown.
A. 
Except as provided in Subsection (B) of this Section, the City of Weldon Spring Police Department, if it maintains a daily log or record that lists suspected crimes, accidents or complaints, shall make available the following information for inspection and copying by the public:
1. 
The time, substance and location of all complaints or requests for assistance received by the Police Department;
2. 
The time and nature of the Police Department's response to all complaints or requests for assistance; and
3. 
If the incident involves an alleged offense or infraction:
a. 
The time, date and location of occurrence;
b. 
The name and age of any victim, unless the victim is a victim of a crime under Chapter 566, RSMo.;
c. 
The factual circumstances surrounding the incident; and
d. 
A general description of any injuries, property or weapons involved.
B. 
The Police Department, having custody of an accident report or incident report as defined in Section 120.140, shall not release for sixty (60) days after the date of the accident or incident the report containing the factual circumstances or general description of any injuries as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of Subdivision (3) of Subsection (A) of this Section to a person that is not an interested party. For the purposes of this Subsection, an "interested party" is any law enforcement agency, any person who was involved in the accident or incident, the Street Department of the jurisdiction involved, the owner of any vehicle involved in the accident or incident, the insurance company, physician or family member of any person involved in the accident or incident, or any attorney, or any member of the news media.