Columbiana approves records policy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A public records policy that failed to pass at the Aug. 2 meeting of Columbiana City Council was approved on Aug. 16.

The policy requires those wanting copies of public records to sign a request form with name, address and phone number as well as to state the purpose of the request.

The policy includes a 25-cent per page copy fee and a charge of $15 per hour for work by city staff to copy, research or prepare documents for review when the work takes longer than an hour.

Councilmember Tom Seale said the fee would be prorated if only part of an additional hour of work by city staff is needed based on the $15 hourly rate.

He explained that the city clerk requested the public records policy as some people have requested documents dating back to 1980, forcing her to do additional work.

He said the policy gives the city a paper trail for requests of public records and that the fees would help recover cost for time city employees spend beyond their normal duties in handling public records requests.

On Aug. 2, Seale presided over a council meeting attended by himself, Ouida Mayfield, Danny Kelley and Frieda Abrams. A motion by Mayfield to approve the policy failed to receive a second and died.

However on Aug. 16 with all members present, the policy passed on a 4-2 vote with Abrams and Kelley remaining opposed