Chapter 2.06


2.06.010    Purpose and intent.

2.06.020    Definitions.

2.06.030    Public records index not required – Findings and order.

2.06.040    Public records rules authorized.

2.06.050    Public records officer.

2.06.060    Public records steering committee.

2.06.070    Public disclosure coordinating team.

2.06.080    Security of public records.

2.06.090    Access to public records.

2.06.100    Legal rights and interests of the city.

2.06.110    Fees and costs.

2.06.120    Administrative review of records denials.

2.06.130    Judicial review.

2.06.010 Purpose and intent.

A. The Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW, requires all cities and public agencies to maintain and make publicly available access to and copies of public records. The city has adopted this chapter pursuant to the Act, and maintains a public records policy as authorized herein, to implement and provide the specific means and mechanisms for public access to the city’s records in conformance with the Act. The city will conform with the Act and the city’s public records policy to implement and manage access to its records.

B. Pursuant to the Act, the city shall disclose all public records and any indexes of public records maintained by the city to the extent such records are not exempt, in whole or in part, from disclosure under the Act or other applicable state and local laws.

C. The Act requires the city to maintain a current index of various public records, unless maintaining such an index would be unduly burdensome or would interfere with city operations, in which case the city need not maintain such an index. The city has determined at MCMC 2.06.030 that maintaining such index would be unduly burdensome and substantially interfere with city operations, and thus the city thus does not maintain such an index as permitted by the Act. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.020 Definitions.

The following terms have the indicated meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise. Other definitions may be found in the text of this chapter or the city’s public records rules:

“City” means the city of Mill Creek, including its elected and appointed officials and employees.

“City manager” means the city manager as appointed by the city council, and includes the city manager’s designee.

“MCMC” or “code” means the Mill Creek Municipal Code.

“Public disclosure coordinating team” or “PDCT” means the team charged with managing the city’s responses to records requests and other actions pursuant to MCMC 2.06.070 and the rules.

“Public record” has the same meaning as in the Act. Without limiting the foregoing, a public record means any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by the city regardless of physical form or characteristics.

“Public Records Act” or “Act” means Chapter 42.56 RCW, as now or hereafter amended.

“Public records officer” or “PRO” means the city’s public records officer designated pursuant to MCMC 2.06.050 and the rules.

“Public records rules” or “rules” or “rule” means the city’s public records rules policy as authorized and amended pursuant to this chapter.

“Public records steering committee” or “PRSC” means the committee charged with advising on changes to the rules and other actions pursuant to MCMC 2.06.060 and the rules.

“Record” or “records” generally means the city’s public records.

“Request” or “records request” means a request made in accordance with the rules for disclosure of public records under the Act.

“Request management system” or “RMS” means the public records management system designated by the city manager for use in connection with the rules.

“Requestor” means a person who has made a public records request in accordance with the rules.

“Writing” has the same meaning as in the Act. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.030 Public records index not required – Findings and order.

A. Findings. Pursuant to RCW 42.56.070(4), the city makes the following findings:

1. The city is comprised of numerous departments, divisions and subdivisions, which maintain separate databases and/or record keeping systems for the indexing of records and information.

2. The city has and maintains records which are diverse, complex, stored in multiple locations and in multiple computer systems and databases, and which utilize different indexing procedures and systems.

3. The city produces and/or receives an uncountable number of records each day, and maintains an uncountable number of records in numerous city files.

4. The development and maintenance of a current records index would be extremely costly, and would provide little benefit to the public compared to the expense of maintaining such index.

5. The city’s operations do not allow for the addition, revision, or reassignment of duties of existing personnel so that a current records index may be developed and maintained, and anticipated city revenues do not allow additional staffing for the purpose of creating and maintaining such an index.

6. For the foregoing reasons, maintaining such index would be unduly burdensome and fiscally irresponsible, and would materially and substantially interfere with city operations, all to the detriment of the city and the public.

B. Order. Pursuant to RCW 42.56.070(4) and the foregoing findings, the city council makes the following order:

1. The city is not required to maintain a current index of public records as required by the Act because that requirement is unduly burdensome for the city, would materially and substantially interfere with city operations, and there is insufficient funding for such work. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.040 Public records rules authorized.

The city manager shall promulgate and maintain public records rules for the city that implement this chapter and the Act, as they may be amended. In doing so, the city manager shall designate a public records management system for use in connection with the rules, and shall consult as necessary with the public records steering committee. The rules shall be made available on the city’s website and published in conjunction with the MCMC. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.050 Public records officer.

The city manager shall designate a city employee or employees to serve as the city’s public records officer. The PRO shall perform the functions set forth herein and in the rules. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.060 Public records steering committee.

A public records steering committee (PRSC) is established, composed of the city manager, city clerk, PRO, deputy police chief and city attorney, or their designees. The PRSC shall provide guidance to the public disclosure coordinating team, review denials of public records requests, recommend and/or review changes to the rules and this chapter, and perform other tasks as assigned by the city manager. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.070 Public disclosure coordinating team.

A public disclosure coordinating team (PDCT) is established, to be chaired by the PRO and composed of departmental representatives approved by the city manager. The PDCT shall be responsible for managing records requests and responses as set forth in the rules under the direction of the PRO. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.080 Security of public records.

The rules shall provide appropriate methods to maintain the security of the city’s records and records systems; to prevent loss, damage, removal and/or alternation of records; to prevent other detrimental actions inconsistent with the Act; and to maintain appropriate retention of records responses for the city’s benefit. Public records shall be maintained in a manner consistent with state and city requirements for record retention. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.090 Access to public records.

A. The rules shall provide for access, inspection and dissemination of records in a manner that is consistent with the Act; consistent with the city’s duties and obligations to perform all of its other municipal, governmental, and public service functions; and consistent with the city’s fiscal capabilities.

B. The rules shall provide reasonable and efficient mechanisms for the public to make records requests and obtain records from the city, and for the city to verify, categorize, track, manage and provide timely responses to records requests.

C. The rules shall provide mechanisms and guidance to assure legally proper and sufficient redaction and exemption of records consistent with the Act. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.100 Legal rights and interests of the city.

Without limiting the scope of the city’s legal authority, for the purpose of protecting the city’s interests and/or records under or in connection with the Act, the city manager may initiate or respond to any judicial action; may respond to or join in any judicial action commenced by any person or entity unaffiliated with the city; and may seek to enjoin the release, inspection or copying of any public records sought by persons serving criminal or other qualifying sentences in state, local, or privately operated correctional facilities as provided by the Act. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.110 Fees and costs.

The rules shall provide for the recovery of charges, fees and costs as permitted under the Act, including statutory charges, customized charges when appropriate, waiver of de minimis charges, and efficient payment methods. To the extent necessary, such charges, fees and costs shall be included in and/or coordinated with the city’s fee schedule at Chapter 3.42 MCMC. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.120 Administrative review of records denials.

In the interest of ensuring proper public access to records and timely resolution of issues regarding the denial, in whole or in part, of a public records request, the rules shall provide aggrieved persons with an efficient internal administrative review process to be handled by the PRO and PRSC. Such administrative review shall be limited solely to the denial by the city of a public records request, whether in whole or in part, and solely to the records so denied. The availability and use of this administrative review process is provided as a convenience to records requestors, and it shall not in any manner alter or affect the requirements, scope, provisions or time limits of judicial review applicable to any city action taken under the Act. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))

2.06.130 Judicial review.

A. Any requestor aggrieved by a qualifying action or decision of the city taken under this chapter or the rules may obtain judicial review thereof if, as, and to the extent allowed under RCW 42.56.550.

B. If any appeal under this section concerns the city’s denial of a record for which administrative review was available under MCMC 2.06.120, and the appellant fails to first avail herself or himself of such administrative review, such failure to exhaust remedies shall preclude appeal of such issue or issues in any judicial appeal. (Ord. 2018-826 § 2 (Exh. 1))