The Village of Golf Manor maintains many documents used in the administration and operation of the Village. These documents are considered public records and are available for review by the public during regular business hours, unless they are exempt by law from disclosure. The ability to access these records are a means to provide trust between the public and local government. The Village maintains records in accordance with Ohio law in a manner that allows prompt inspection. Copies of records are available by request to the appointed Records Official within a reasonable amount of time during regular business hours. Records that document the work of the Village Public records laws apply to records in any format, including those that exist on paper, electronically (for example, email), or on any other media.
MAKING RECORDS ACCESSIBLE
Public records are available for inspection during regular business hours. Records must be provided promptly for inspection, and copies must be made available within a reasonable period of time.
It is the goal of the Village that requests for public records be acknowledged in writing, or, if feasible, satisfied within three business days of the request. No “official” language is required to make a request for public records, and the request does not need to be in writing. The person making the request does not have to provide his or her identity, nor must he or she indicate how the records will be used. In fact, the office does not request such information. However, the person must identify the requested records with sufficient clarity to allow the office to retrieve them. If a request is ambiguous or overly broad, the office may deny the request but needs to contact the requester for clarification. The office should assist the person in revising the request by explaining how the office’s records are organized and accessed. The Village provides a form to make a request but does not requite it’s use.
Electronic records are treated in the same way as records in other formats. Email, text messages, and instant messages, for example, may be public records if their content documents the business of the Village. Records transmitted to or from private email accounts to conduct public business are subject to disclosure, and all employees or representatives of the Village are required to retain them in accordance with applicable records retention schedules.
DEALING WITH DENIALS OR REDACTIONS
If the office withholds, redacts, or otherwise denies requested records, it must provide an explanation, including legal authority. If portions of a record are public and other portions are exempt, the exempt portions may be redacted while the rest are released. When making public records available for public inspection or copying, the office shall notify the requester of any redaction or make the redaction plainly visible.
COPYING AND MAILING CHARGES
There is no charge to inspect public records in-person. Copies of records are available at actual cost, excluding labor. The charge for paper copies is 5 cents per page. The charge for electronic files downloaded to a compact disc is $1 per disc. The actual cost of postage, mailing supplies, or other delivery costs may be charged. There is no charge for emailed documents. It is permissible to require payment of all costs in advance of delivery. The requester may choose whether to have the record copied on paper, on the same medium in which the public record is kept, or on any other medium upon which the Village determines that the record can reasonably be duplicated as an integral part of the office’s normal operations.
The records of the Village are subject to records retention schedules as determined by the Records Commission. The Village public records policy and a Schedule of Records Retention (RC-2) are available from the Village Administrator upon request.
Council and Council committee minutes are available for review here.
Also see State of Ohio Sunshine Laws.