Sunday, May 11, 2014

Schipske Asks City Attorney to Halt Destruction of Elected Officials' Records

Councilmember Gerrie Schipske
Councilmember Gerrie Schipske (Photo credit: Long Beach Public Library)
Schipske Asks City Attorney to Halt Destruction of Elected Officials’ Records – Says City Ordinance Requires Records to be Retained by the City When Officials Leave

May 11, 2014 – Outgoing Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske today announced that she has contacted City Attorney, Charles Parkin, to seek clarification about why she received a memorandum from the City Clerk regarding the planned destruction of her office records from 2006 – 2009.
“When I took office all the records had been destroyed so I authored an ordinance passed by the City Council that requires that the records of outgoing elected officials not be destroyed,” reminds Schipske. “Last week I received a memo indicating that my records from 2006-2009 were planned for destruction. I have to assume all other elected officials received the same memo and so I put in a call to the City Attorney to ask what was going on in light of the City ordinance.”
To date, the outgoing elected officials have not received instruction as to what records need to be kept when they leave City hall.
“Since emails are considered public records, I would think that they need to be maintained as well,” cautions Schipske. “Some cities require that a printed copy of emails conducting government business need to be retained in a file so that if emails are purged from the system there is still a public record of the correspondence.” Schipske notes that her office routinely cuts and pastes emails from constituents into a master data base that includes a complete history of contacts since she took office in 2006.
Schipske adds that until this issue gets clarified, “the City Attorney needs to halt the destruction of all records in Council Districts 1,3,5,7,9 and the office of the Mayor. Otherwise the public will be denied access to these records and those who take these offices will have to start from scratch. Most importantly, a City ordinance will have been violated.”

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