[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Waterloo 10-19-1987 by Ord. No. 87-6 as §§ 1.51 and 1.52 of the 1987 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this article, the following terms have the meaning indicated:
- Any City entity having custody of a City record, including an office, elected official, agency, board, commission, committee, council, department or public body corporate and politic created by constitution, law, ordinance, rule or order, or a formally constituted subunit of the foregoing.
- That officer, department head, division head or employee of the City designated under § 100-3 below or otherwise responsible by law to keep and preserve any City records, or file, deposit or keep such records in his office, or who is lawfully in possession or entitled to possession of such public records and who is required by this article to respond to requests for access to such records.
- 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), optical disks,
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 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.[Amended 3-15-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-06]
Except as provided under Article II of this chapter, each officer and employee of the City shall safely keep and preserve all records received from his predecessor or other persons and required by law to be filed, deposited or kept in his office or which are in the lawful possession or control of the officer or employee or his deputies, or to the possession or control of which he may be lawfully entitled as such officer or employee.
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 successor all records then in his custody and the successor shall receipt therefor to the officer or employee, who shall file said receipt with the Clerk-Treasurer. If a vacancy occurs before a successor is selected or qualifies, such records shall be delivered to and receipted for by the Clerk-Treasurer, on behalf of the successor, to be delivered to such successor upon the latter's receipt.
Each elected official is the legal custodian of his records and the records of his office, but the official may designate an employee of his staff to act as the legal custodian.
Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the Clerk-Treasurer or the Clerk-Treasurer's designee shall act as legal custodian for the Council and for any committees, commissions, boards or other authorities created by ordinance or resolution of the Council. This shall not include the Police and Fire Departments whose custodians shall be the Police Chief and the Fire Chief, respectively, and the Waterloo Water and Light Commission whose custodian shall be the Utility Superintendent.
Each legal custodian shall name a person to act as legal custodian in his absence or the absence of his designee. This subsection shall not apply to the Council.
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 this article. This section does not apply to members of the Council.
Except as provided in § 100-7 below, 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.
Records shall be available for inspection and copying during all regular office hours.
If regular office hours are not maintained at the location where records are kept, the records shall be available for inspection and copying upon at least 48 hours' advance notice of intent to inspect or copy.
A requester shall be permitted to use facilities comparable to those available to City employees to inspect, copy or abstract a record. This subsection does not authorize or require the purchase or lease of equipment nor does it require the provision of a separate room for inspection, copying or abstracting of records.
The authority 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.
A requester shall be charged a fee to defray the cost of locating and copying records as follows:
A cost per page of photocopying, as set forth in the Fee Schedule provided for in § 100-8, shall be charged. Said cost shall not exceed the actual, necessary and direct costs to the authority of reproduction, and such charges shall be prominently displayed and made available for inspection by the authority at his office.
[Amended 3-15-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-06]
If the form of a written record does not permit copying, the actual and necessary cost of photographing and photographic processing shall be charged.
The actual full cost of providing a copy of other records not in printed form on paper, such as films, computer printouts and audio or video tapes, shall be charged.
If mailing or shipping is necessary, the actual cost thereof shall also be charged.
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 authority and billed to the requester.
The authority shall estimate the cost of all applicable fees and may require a cash deposit adequate to assure payment if such estimate exceeds $5.
The authority may provide copies of a record without charge or at a reduced charge where he determines that waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest.
Elected and appointed officials of the City shall not be required to pay for public records they may reasonably require for the proper performance of their official duties.
A request to inspect or copy a record shall be made to the authority. 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 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 § 100-5F(6) above. 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.
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. When the legal custodian has doubts as to whether the requested records are exempt from disclosure, in whole or in part, he shall have three working days to confer with the City Attorney prior to making a determination. If the legal custodian, after conferring with the City 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 request in a manner which would permit reasonable compliance.
A request for a record may be denied as provided in § 100-7 below. If a request is made orally, the request may be denied orally unless a demand for a written statement of the reasons for 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.
As provided by § 19.36, Wis. Stats., the following records are exempt from inspection under this article:
Records specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal law or authorized to be exempted from disclosure by state law.
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.
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.
A record or any portion of a record containing information qualifying as a common law trade secret.
As provided by § 43.30, Wis. Stats., public library circulation records are exempt from inspection under this article.
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 City Attorney, may deny the request, in whole or in part, only if he 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:
Records obtained under official pledges of confidentiality which were necessary and given in order to obtain the information contained in them.
Records of current deliberations after a quasi-judicial hearing.
Records of current deliberations concerning employment, dismissal, promotion, demotion, compensation, performance or discipline of any City officer or employee, or the investigation of charges against a City officer or employee, unless such officer or employee consents to such disclosure.
Records concerning current strategy for crime detection or prevention.
Records of current deliberations or negotiations on the purchase of City property, investing of City funds or other City business whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require nondisclosure.
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.
Communications between legal counsel for the City and any officer, agent or employee of the City when advice is being rendered concerning strategy with respect to current litigation in which the City 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.
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 City Attorney prior to releasing any such record and shall follow the guidance of the City Attorney when separating out the exempt material. If, in the judgment of the custodian and the City 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.
[Added 11-17-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-4]
The Clerk-Treasurer of the City of Waterloo shall maintain and make available to the public a Fee Schedule as adopted by the Common Council and amended from time to time by resolution.
City officers may destroy the following nonutility records of which they are the legal custodian and which are considered obsolete after completion of an audit by state auditors or an auditor licensed under Ch. 442, Wis. Stats., 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 or will, in the future, be fixed by the State Public Records Board pursuant to § 16.61(3)(e), Wis. Stats., and then after such shorter period:
Bank statements, deposit books, slips and stubs.
Bonds and coupons after maturity.
Cancelled checks, duplicates and check stubs.
License and permit applications, stubs and duplicates.
Payrolls and other time and employment records of personnel included under the Wisconsin Retirement Fund.
Special assessment records.
Vouchers, requisitions, purchase orders and all other supporting documents pertaining thereto.
[Amended 3-15-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-06]
City officers may destroy the following utility records of which they are the legal custodians and which are considered obsolete after completion of any required audit by the state auditors or an auditor licensed under Ch. 442, Wis. Stats., subject to State Public Service Commission regulations, 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 water stubs, receipts of current billings and customers' ledgers may be destroyed after two years:
Any City officer may destroy the following records of which he is 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 by statute or by the State Public Records Board pursuant to § 16.61(3)(e), Wis. Stats., and then after such a shorter period:
Assessment rolls and related records, including Board of Review minutes.
Contracts and papers relating thereto.
Correspondence and communications.
Financial reports other than annual financial reports.
Oaths of office.
Reports of boards, commissions, committees and officials duplicated in the Council minutes.
Resolutions and petitions.
Voter record cards.
Patient care records.
[Added 12-16-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-09 ]
Unless notice is waived by the State Historical Society, at least 60 days' notice shall be given the State Historical Society prior to the destruction of any record as provided in § 19.21(4)(a), Wis. Stats.
Any tape recording of a governmental meeting of the City 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.
This article shall not be construed to authorize the destruction of any public record after a period less than prescribed by statute or state administrative regulations.
Any City officer or the head of any department or division of City government may keep and preserve public records in his 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 this Code.