Public Records Requests
Due to the COVID 19 State of Emergency, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-28, which waives and suspends four sections of the Public Records Act through April 23, 2020. The Public Records Act provisions of the Proclamation were extended through the end of the Covid-19 State of Emergency and remain in effect. As a result, the city’s response times may be slower than usual.
The City Clerk’s Office is responsible for processing Public Records Requests. The City Clerk holds the position of Public Records Officer. Requests may be submitted to the Public Records Officer by mail, fax, telephone, email, or in-person at Stanwood City Hall.
Role of Public Records Officer
- Oversee compliance with the Public Records Act
- Provide the "fullest assistance" to the requester
- Coordinate response to requests with departments and offices
- Provide most timely possible and efficient action on requests
- Fulfill requests without excessive interference with City business
- Protect public records from damage or disorganization
Making a Request
Please include the following in your Public Records Request:
- Name and address and contact information of the requester
- Description of public records adequate to locate the records
- Date of request
You will receive a response and/or documents within five business days.
Many public records are currently available on the City’s website at no cost. Examples include the Comprehensive Plan, Stanwood Municipal Code, City Council meeting minutes, and agendas.
Records are available for inspection and copying by appointment during normal business hours, excluding legal holidays. The requester may not remove documents from the viewing area or disassemble or alter any document. The requester will indicate which documents he or she wishes the City to copy.
Response to Records Requests
Within five business days of receipt of the request, the Public Records Officer or designee will do one of the following:
- Make the records available for inspection or copying.
- Send copies to the requester if payment has been received.
- Provide a reasonable estimate of when records will be available.
- Contact requester to request clarification.
- Deny the request citing the reason for denial.
If a requester does not receive a response within five days, he or she should contact the Public Records Officer to determine the reason.
Some Records Exempt from Disclosure
The Public Records Act lists types of documents exempt from public inspection and copying. Other laws also prohibit the disclosure of certain records.
The City of Stanwood will not disclose lists of individuals for commercial purposes.
If only a portion of a record is exempt from disclosure, the Public Records Officer or designee will redact the exempt portions before providing the document.
- If a requester has not reviewed or claimed records within thirty days of notice that records are available or fails to make payment, the Public Records Officer may close the request.
- If requested records contain information that may affect the rights of others, before providing the records, the Public Records Officer or designee may give notice and allow time for action by the other parties.
- After a request has been filled, if the Public Records Officer becomes aware of additional documents existing at the time of the request, these will be provided to the requester on an expedited basis.
For more information, refer to the Public Records Act Policy and Procedure (PDF) which provides detail and guidance regarding the City’s administration of public records, and clarifies the City’s processes to assist the public in obtaining public records.
Cost for Public Records
There is no fee for inspecting public records.
- Copies are 15 cents per page
- Mailing includes the actual cost of postage and the shipping container
- Other media includes the actual cost of reproduction
Payments by cash, check, or money order payable to "City of Stanwood."
For large requests, the City may:
- Require a deposit of up to 10% of the estimated cost before making copies
- Provide copies in installments
- Require advance payment before providing further installments.