The City of Jefferson (“City”) strives to create an open and transparent government. The Iowa Open Records Act and Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) govern the City’s disclosure of its records. In order to provide the public simple and efficient access to all records covered by the Iowa Open Records Act and FOIA, the City adopts this Open Records Policy.
Scope of Policy
All records of or belonging to the City are public records and available for public examination and reproduction, except for those records which are defined by law as confidential and those records which are copyrighted.
Confidential records are those records required or permitted by Iowa Code to be kept confidential. Public review, reproduction, or distribution of confidential records is not available. Confidential records may be withheld, and confidential information within an otherwise open record may be redacted prior to a record’s release for public examination and copying. Under Iowa Code Section 22.7, Confidential records include but are not limited to, medical records, employee-related files, documents concerning litigation or claims, and names or addresses of complainants.
Private Customer Information
Pursuant to Iowa Code Section 388.9A, the City does not permit the examination or reproduction of public records related to a City utility or enterprise, including private customer information. Private customer information includes any records of customers’ accounts and any information which identifies a specific customer, such as the customer’s home address or name.
Public Examination of Records
Members of the public may review public records at any time during the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays and recesses. Records shall be examined under the supervision of the City’s authorized designee. Individuals seeking to examine the City’s public records shall submit a request to the City Clerk, Custodian of the City’s records (“Custodian”). Requests may be made without identification, reason, or motive for the request. The Custodian will make arrangements for examination of the records as soon as practicable, generally within 10 days. While most records requests can be fulfilled relatively quickly, the Custodian may need additional time to determine if a record contains confidential information. Iowa law permits custodians to take up to 20 days to assess the confidentiality of requested records.
Reproduction of Records
Individuals may obtain copies of public records during office hours upon request and payment of office fees, if applicable. An hourly fee established by the City’s currently adopted fee schedule will be assessed for retrieval of requested information. Additionally, a fee established by the City’s currently adopted fee schedule will be charged per page for paper copies of records unless the request can be fulfilled from existing copies. Except as permitted by law, copyright materials shall not be reproduced. Video recordings of city council meetings may be available online through the City’s Facebook page, but the City does not itself keep recordings of city council meetings.