Chapter 1.90
REQUESTS FOR PUBLIC RECORDS

Sections:

1.90.010    Purpose.

1.90.020    Departments affected.

1.90.030    References.

1.90.040    Policy.

1.90.050    Definitions.

1.90.060    Procedure.

1.90.070    Public records officer.

1.90.080    Index not to be maintained.

1.90.010 Purpose.

To establish a policy and procedure for responding to requests for public records. (Ord. 2000-08 § 1)

1.90.020 Departments affected.

All departments within the city of Wenatchee are affected. (Ord. 2000-08 § 2)

1.90.030 References.

RCW 42.17.250 through 42.17.348 are hereby adopted in their entirety by this reference except to the extent modified herein. (Ord. 2000-08 § 3)

1.90.040 Policy.

(1) The city of Wenatchee will make available to citizens all documents that meet the definition of public record, except those that are exempt from disclosure under RCW 42.17.310(1) as it now exists or is hereafter amended, other federal, state or local law. It is the city’s policy to handle all requests for public records uniformly, fairly and expeditiously, with due consideration for the requestor’s needs as expressed or perceived.

(2) The city also has a responsibility to preserve all records and prevent disclosure of records protected by state law. (Ord. 2000-08 § 4)

1.90.050 Definitions.

“Nonpublic record” means any writing containing information not relating to the conduct of government, and not relating to the performance of any governmental or proprietary function, retained or in the possession of the city regardless of form or characteristics, and any record exempted from disclosure by RCW 42.17.310(1) or other federal, state or local law.

“Public record” includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the city of Wenatchee or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used or retained by the city of Wenatchee regardless of physical form or characteristics.

Papers, photos, maps, videos, and electronic records created by the city of Wenatchee are all covered by the Public Records Disclosure Act. (Ord. 2000-08 § 5)

1.90.060 Procedure.

(1) The city of Wenatchee will attempt to produce public records requested for inspection or copying within five working days of the written request. If the records cannot be produced within five days, the city will within that five-day period, either notify the requestor that an investigation as to the location of records and/or what requested records are public versus nonpublic is ongoing and of a date when the public records may be available or deny access to nonpublic records.

Conditions that could cause postponement of access beyond the five-day period are time needed to clarify the request; time needed to inspect records for protected, exempt or private information; time needed to locate and assemble the information requested; or scheduling access so that it does note interfere with the functioning of the city.

(2) A written statement stating the reason for the denial will accompany any denial of a public records request.

(3) Written requests to review or obtain copies of records shall be required in all instances. When members of the public present themselves to review or receive copies of records, they will be asked to complete a request for public record form (see Attachment A of the ordinance codified in this chapter1). If the individual refuses to complete the form or provide their identity, access still will be provided. In this instance, city staff will complete the request for public record form in order to document the access.

It is reasonable to ask a citizen to schedule an appointment to review records at a time that is convenient for both the city and the citizen.

(4) In order to adequately protect public records, these guidelines shall be followed when providing access:

(a) Inspection of any public record will be conducted in the presence of a city employee.

(b) No public record may be marked or defaced in any manner during inspection.

(c) Public records, which are maintained in a file, jacket, or in chronological order may not be dismantled except for purposes of copying and then only by an employee of the city.

(d) Access to file cabinets, shelves, etc. is restricted to city employees.

(e) No public records shall be removed from city premises, unless they are in the possession of a city employee.

(f) Electronically Stored Data and Information. Public records in the form of information or data, which is electronically stored (on the memory of a computer, a diskette, a magnetic tape, a compact disc or in other similar ways), shall be subject to public inspection and copying in the following manner:

(i) Information or data that is publicly available by computer access without submission of a request for inspection and copying, may be inspected and copied by any person or persons having access to computer equipment capable of such inspection and copying. Subject to budget and financial constraints, public access computer equipment may be made available without charge by the city at public locations.

(ii) Information or data that is not publicly available by computer access without submission of a request for inspection and copying, but which constitutes public records and is stored, contained or available as data or information within the memory or storage facilities of computer or electronic equipment, is subject to inspection and copying only with the cooperative services of city employees familiar with the operation of equipment that permits such inspection and copying to occur. When the requestor adequately identifies public records, a city employee designated by the city clerk or other appropriate department head shall examine the information to determine if it contains exempt or nonpublic records. If such examination reveals any data or information that is exempt from public inspection or copying, the requested public record shall be printed on paper or transferred to a diskette or similar medium with the exempt portions thereof deleted. If the examination reveals any data that is nonpublic record, inspections and copying thereof shall not be permitted. If the examination, reveals no exempt information and no nonpublic records, the person requesting inspection and copying, at his/her option, may either view the information on a computer screen, have the information transferred to a diskette or other compatible storage medium, or ask that the information be printed on paper; provided, however, that the view of such information on a computer screen shall not be permitted except where the computer is operated by a city employee and where diverting such city employee from his/her regular duties would not cause excessive interference with essential functions of the city.

(5) Fees for copies of public records shall be imposed pursuant to the fee schedule in Chapter 1.99 WCC. (Ord. 2017-17 § 2; Ord. 2000-08 § 6)

1.90.070 Public records officer.

The city clerk is hereby designated as the public records officer for the city of Wenatchee. The city clerk shall be the person to whom members of the public may direct requests for disclosure of public records of the city of Wenatchee and who will oversee the city of Wenatchee’s compliance with the public records disclosure requirements of the public disclosure laws of the state of Washington as now or hereafter amended. The city clerk may be contacted at: City Hall, 129 South Chelan Avenue, Wenatchee, Washington 98801. (Ord. 2006-15 § 1)

1.90.080 Index not to be maintained.2

A current index as described in RCW 42.56.070 will not be maintained by the city. (Ord. 2007-14 § 2)


1

Code reviser’s note: Ord. 2000-08 with Attachment A is on file in the city clerk’s office.


2

Code reviser’s note: Ordinance 2007-14 adds the provisions of this section as Section 1.90.070. The section has been editorially renumbered to prevent duplication of numbering.