The Town Secretary acts as custodian of public records, including preserving and maintaining documents such as contracts, ordinances, and resolutions. The Town Secretary also serves as the Town Records Management Officer (RMO). As the RMO, the Town Secretary responds to Requests for Information from residents, citizens, and governmental agencies.
Request for Information Policy
All requests must be submitted in writing via online form submission, email, fax or walk-in. The Town has up to ten (10) business days to respond to your request. Requests are processed in the order they are received.
At their May 21, 2012 meeting, Town Council approved an Ordinance allowing Staff to begin utilizing Section 552.275 of the Public Information Act.
The 2012 Public Information Handbook, states that Section 552.275 authorizes municipalities who receive requests that require large amounts of employee or personnel time to “establish a reasonable limit, not less than 36 hours in a 12-month period, on the amount of time that personnel are required to spend producing public information for inspection or copies to a requestor, without recovering the costs attributable to the personnel time related to that requestor. If a governmental body chooses to establish a time limit under this section, a requestor will be required to compensate the governmental body for the costs incurred in satisfying subsequent requests once the time limit has been reached.” This provision is referred to as the 36-Hour Rule.
The 12-month period follows the Town’s Fiscal Year of October 1 to September 30.
This Ordinance does NOT limit the amount of information a requestor can request or the number of requests a requestor can make; it does however subject a requestor to payment for personnel time when personnel time used to fill open records requests exceeds 36 cumulative hours during a given fiscal year.
The effective date of this Ordinance is Wednesday, May 30, 2012. Town Staff will begin tracking time towards Requests for Information received on or after June 1, 2012. Beginning June 1, 2012 each Request’s response will include a report of personnel time spent, if applicable, towards the 36-hour total. If the request requires a requestor to pay for personnel time, then the time does NOT go towards the 36-hour total. Personnel time is only counted towards the 36 hours if personnel time is NOT charged for the request.
Each request for information is evaluated individually by the Records Management Officer on a case by case basis to see if charges for personnel time are applicable and the amount, if any, of personnel time that can be used towards the requestor’s (or their agent’s) allotted time under the 36-hour Rule. Requests will be evaluated to see if the 36-hour total is per individual or per street address. Time spent on requests for which the charging of personnel or labor costs are authorized under other provisions of the Public Information Act will NOT be counted towards the 36-hour total.
The Town’s Record Management Officer will continue to work closely with the Attorney General’s office to ensure rules and charges are applied correctly to each Request for Information.
Submitting clear and specific Requests for Information will help reduce the amount of personnel time spent on a Request.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Records Management Officer at 682-831-4600. You may also contact the State of Texas Open Records Hotline at 877-673-6839.