Public records are writings containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business. Writings include handwritten, typed, photographed, electronic or otherwise recorded words, letters, pictures, sounds, symbols or combinations of any of these mediums (See ORS 192.410). There are numerous exceptions to the public records laws which allow a public body to refuse to disclose public records (See ORS 192.496, ORS 192.501, and ORS 192.502). Public bodies are not required to explain or answer questions about their public records, nor are they required to create public records where none exist. Public bodies are required to make available for inspection and copying, subject to any applicable exemptions, only those records that exist at the time of the request.
The City will send you an acknowledgment within five business days of receipt of your request. The acknowledgment will include: (a) Confirmation whether or not the City is the custodian of the requested record, if known; or (b) A statement that no such records exist. (c) If the request is unclear, a request to clarify the records sought. And, (d) A cost estimate. These estimated costs must be prepaid before any work is performed on completing your request. You are responsible for all costs incurred by the City in fulfilling your request which may exceed the initial cost estimate.
Within ten business days of receipt of the deposit, staff will contact you (1) to advise that the records you requested are ready to be released or are ready for your inspection; or (2) to provide a date when the records will be ready for inspection or ready for release; or (3) to advise that the request is being denied. If the City denies your request, a written explanation of the reason for denial will be forwarded to you by the City Recorder within a reasonable amount of time.
Full payment of the total amount of costs incurred is required before the public records may be inspected or before any copies are released. YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO PAY THE COSTS OF PROCESSING YOUR PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST EVEN IF NO RECORDS ARE FOUND, OR IF THE RECORDS ARE EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE.
Most records available for public inspection are City of Salem property. NOTHING CAN BE ALTERED, ADDED, OR REMOVED FROM THESE RECORDS. Photographing documents is not permitted. Allowing the inspection and/or copying of public records in the custody of the City of Salem is not meant to waive or restrict any copyright, proprietary, confidentiality, privilege, exemption from disclosure, or other rights in said documents.
I HAVE READ AND AGREE TO COMPLY WITH THE ABOVE CONDITIONS and further agree to pay the costs of fulfilling this Public Records Request according to the conditions set forth above and as established in the fee schedule adopted by the City Council in effect at the time my request is submitted. These costs may include, but are not limited to, the cost of locating records (regardless of whether staff was able to locate the requested records), reviewing records for exempt material, supervising the inspection of records, copying records, certifying records and mailing records.