Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER

DATE: MARCH 2, 2004

SUBJECT: CITY COUNCIL POLICY ON DISCLOSURE OF ELECTED AND APPOINTEE OFFICIALS’ PERSONAL INFORMATION, INCLUDING DISCLOSURE ON THE CITY WEBSITE

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt City Council Policy No. 38, regarding the posting of City Council and City appointees’ personal information.

BACKGROUND

Currently, the City has no written policy regarding the dissemination of certain information about elected and appointed officials or its publication on the City’s web site. Although the practice of the City has been that both elected and appointed officials should be accessible to the public, the advent of the worldwide Internet has added an element of concern relative to compromising personal privacy. Moreover, Government Code Section 6254.21 was recently amended to prohibit the posting of a home address and telephone number of any elected or appointed official on the Internet without first obtaining the written permission of that individual.

DISCUSSION

With input from the City Attorney, staff has prepared draft City Council Policy No. 38 specifying the manner in which personal information about City Council members and appointees to the City’s various advisory boards will be handled. At a minimum, staff is recommending that the City only publish the name of the elected or appointed official and their term of office on its website. Any additional information, such as home address, telephone number and personal email address, will only be posted on the website or otherwise released to the public when the elected official or appointee has given written permission for such a disclosure. However, home addresses and the address of any other property within the City, which is owned by an individual Council Member or an appointee, can be obtained at City Hall by submitting a written request to the City Clerk. Unless telephone numbers have been released, all telephone calls and other requests to contact City Council members will be made through the City Manager’s office and similar requests to contact appointed officials will be made through the staff liaison for that City Commission or Committee.

Respectfully submitted:

Carolynn Petru

Assistant City Manager

Reviewed,

Les Evans

City Manager

Attachments:

Draft City Council Policy No. 38

Government Code Section 6254.21

DRAFT CITY COUNCIL POLICY

NUMBER: 38

DATE ADOPTED/AMENDED: 03/02/04

SUBJECT: Disclosure of Elected and Appointed Officials’ Personal Information

POLICY:

It shall be the policy of the City Council that personal information about elected officials and appointees to the City’s various advisory boards shall be handled in the following manner:

  • At a minimum, the name, term of office and the City Hall e-mail address and City telephone number shall be posted on the City’s website.
  • Additional information, such as home address, home or business telephone numbers, fax number and personal e-mail address will be posted on the City’s website or disseminated to the public only when an elected official or appointee has given written permission to the City for such disclosure. However, home addresses and the address of any other property within the City, which is owned by an individual City Council Member or an appointee, can be obtained at City Hall by submitting a written request to the City Clerk.
  • Telephone messages for City Council members will be transmitted through the City Manager’s office. Telephone messages for appointees shall be transmitted through the staff liaison assigned to that City commission or committee.

BACKGROUND:

Presently, the City has had no written policy regarding the publication of certain information about elected and appointed officials. Although the practice of the City has been that both elected and appointed officials shall be accessible to the public, the advent of the worldwide Internet has added an element of concern relative to the compromise of a person’s privacy. Moreover, Government Code Section 6254.21 has been amended to prohibit the posting of a home address and telephone number of any elected or appointed official without the written permission of that individual. This City Council policy is intended to respond to this concern for privacy.

California Government Code Excerpt:

6254.21. (a) No state or local agency shall post the home address or telephone number of any elected or appointed official on the Internet without first obtaining the written permission of that individual.

(b) No person shall knowingly post the home address or telephone number of any elected or appointed official, or of the official's residing spouse or child on the Internet knowing that person is an elected or appointed official and intending to cause imminent great bodily harm that is likely to occur or threatening to cause imminent great bodily harm to that individual. A violation of this subdivision is a misdemeanor. A violation of this subdivision that leads to the bodily injury of the official, or his or her residing spouse or child, is a misdemeanor or a felony. (c) For purposes of this section "elected or appointed official" includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) State constitutional officers.

(2) Members of the Legislature.

(3) Judges and court commissioners.

(4) District attorneys.

(5) Public defenders.

(6) Members of a city council.

(7) Members of a board of supervisors.

(8) Appointees of the Governor.

(9) Appointees of the Legislature.

(10) Mayors.

(11) City attorneys.

(12) Police chiefs and sheriffs.

(13) A public safety official as defined in Section 6254.24.

(d) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude punishment instead under Sections 69, 76, or 422 of the Penal Code, or any other provision of law.