City of Poway

Questions and Answers Regarding the City Clerk's Office

Where can I obtain a copy of the Public Records Act?
What are some of the documents that cannot be disclosed?
Are all of the records in the Records Retention Schedule public records?
What is a Resolution?
How is an Ordinance approved?
What is an Ordinance?
Where can I get a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate?
Can I search for records online?
What are "Public Records"?
How much will I be charged for copies?
How soon must the City respond to my request?
Can I request documents be provided to me in electronic format?
What type of information can I request?
How do I find a section of the Poway Municipal Code?
How do I make a request for a copy of public records?
How can I find out if I am still registered to vote?
When are the City Council Meetings held?
When are the City Council agendas posted to the website?
How can I find out what items are on the agenda?
How do I address the City Council at a meeting?
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Q: Where can I obtain a copy of the Public Records Act?
A:
A copy of the Public Records Act is available in any local law library by asking for California Government Code Sections 6250-6277, or may be searched online.
Q: What are some of the documents that cannot be disclosed?
A:

 Some exceptions to disclosure include but are not limited to:

  • Inter or Intra-agency “advisory, consultative or deliberative material”
  • Any record within the attorney-client privilege
  • Information which, if disclosed, would give an advantage to competitors or bidders
  • Personnel records, medical records, and similar files which would constitute an  unwarranted invasion of personal privacy if publicly disclosed
  • Documents protected from disclosure by the State Constitutional Right to Privacy
  • Certain law enforcement records including records of complaints to or investigations conducted by any state or local agency
  • Criminal history records
  • Initiative, referendum and recall petitions
  • Records protected from disclosure by state and federal laws; and 
  • Certain documents in which the public interest in not disclosing the document outweighs the public interest in disclosing
Q: Are all of the records in the Records Retention Schedule public records?
A:

Generally, all City records are accessible to the public. However, Federal, State and Local laws prohibit or restrict the disclosure of a limited category of documents. If you request to review records in those categories, you may not be granted access. If you are denied access to any records, the City Attorney or designee will state the legal basis for the exemption.

Q: What is a Resolution?
A:

A Resolution constitutes a written action or decision. However, it does not demand the legal processing required of an ordinance. A resolution is generally introduced and adopted at the same meeting.

Q: How is an Ordinance approved?
A:

Approval of an ordinance requires a first and second reading. With a few exceptions, ordinances take effect 30 days after they are adopted after the second reading.

Q: What is an Ordinance?
A:

Ordinances are the laws of the municipality (city). City Councils adopt ordinances which become the City’s Municipal Code. These ordinances or laws may be passed by the City Council as long as they are not in conflict with Federal or State law.

An ordinance is the most binding form of action taken by the City Council, and violations may be either a misdemeanor or an infraction depending on the way the ordinance was written. The public is notified of ordinances adopted in the City of Poway through the Poway News Chieftain legal noticing section of the newspaper within 15 days of an ordinance’s adoption.

Q: Where can I get a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate?
A:

Contact the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk at (619) 236-3771 or visit their website.

Q: Can I search for records online?
A:

Yes. Visit our City Records via Weblink to search for records. Currently the following records are available:

  • City Council Agenda Packets 1980-present
  • City Council Minutes 1980-present
  • Ordinances 1980-present
  • Resolutions 1980-present
  • Oversight Board Agenda and Minutes 2012-present
  • Council Appointed Committee Agenda and Minutes 2007-present
  • Various resource materials such as the General Plan, 2010 Urban Water Management Plan, Old Poway Specific Plan and more.
Q: What are "Public Records"?
A:

“Public Records” include any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used or retained by the City of Poway regardless of physical form or characteristics. “Writing” means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photo stating, photocopying, photographing, transmitting by electronic email or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing, and form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols or any combination thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the records has been stored.

Q: How much will I be charged for copies?
A:

The Public Records Act allows the City to charge the direct costs of duplication of public records with a copy charge of $0.50 for the first page and $0.10 for each page after that (per side) for standard letter/legal sheets of paper. $15.00 per page for plans/drawings, and DVDs of the City Council Meetings are $1.00. Actual postage and copy fees will be collected from requestor prior to mailing; if required to mail documents.

Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) filings are $0.10 per page (per side) regardless of quantity. Examples of these filings are Candidate Campaign Contribution Statements, and Statement of Economic Interest Form 700 filings for City Council and City staff.

Q: How soon must the City respond to my request?
A:

The Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250) states that upon request for a copy of records, the City shall have ten (10) days from receipt of that request to determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the possession of the agency and shall promptly notify the person making the request of the determination. The Act requires that the City make reasonable efforts to produce records as promptly as possible. A response usually consists of an explanation of when the records will be available and the estimated cost of the records copied.

Q: Can I request documents be provided to me in electronic format?
A:

As a preliminary matter, the California Public Records Act authorizes members of the general public to inspect and receive copies of existing records which have been identified by the requestor, and which records are not exempted from disclosure under that Act. However, the California Public Records Act does not require the City to compile data, perform research or create new records that do not currently exist.

Q: What type of information can I request?
A:

Public Records requests may be used to obtain “agency records” which include a wide variety of documents and other materials (including print, photographic, and electronic formats) that were created or obtained by a City department.

Q: How do I find a section of the Poway Municipal Code?
A:

The Poway Municipal Code is available on the City website under the Government tab.

The document is searchable to assist in locating information.  You can always contact the staff in the City Clerk's Office for assistance at (858) 668-4530.

Q: How do I make a request for a copy of public records?
A:

A Public Records Request form is available on the City website. Fill out the form completely and select the “submit by email” button on the bottom of the form. You can also come into the City Clerk’s Office located in City Hall at 13325 Civic Center Drive, Poway CA 92064 or fax the request to (858) 668-1206.

Q: How can I find out if I am still registered to vote?
A:

Visit the San Diego County Registrar of Voters website, you may also contact them by phone at  (800) 696-0136 to request they verify you are a registered voter.

 

Q: When are the City Council Meetings held?
A:

Unless cancelled, the City Council conducts regular meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 13325 Civic Center Drive in Poway. For More information on meeting schedule click here.

Q: When are the City Council agendas posted to the website?
A:

The agenda is prepared, distributed and posted 11 days prior to the meeting date. Copies of the supporting documentation (the staff report) for each item can be viewed and/or purchased at the City Clerk’s Office or downloaded from the City’s website under the City Records tab, or City Council Meeting Agenda tab.

 

Q: How can I find out what items are on the agenda?
A:

This information is available on the City website.  Locate the date of meeting and select “included” in the agenda column.

Q: How do I address the City Council at a meeting?
A:

Anyone wishing to address the Council under Public Oral Communications or on an agenda item should complete a “Speaker Slip.” Slips are located in the lobby of the Council Chambers. Indicate the number of the agenda item you are interested in and whether or not you wish to speak. Also, indicate whether you are in support or opposition of the staff recommendation on the item. The staff recommendation can be found on the agenda available on the City's website and in the lobby of the Council Chambers on the day of the meeting.
Submit your slip to the City Clerk or City Clerk’s Office staff prior to the beginning of the Council meeting, or before the item is to be heard.
When addressing the City Council, please step to the lectern and clearly state your name for the record. There is a time limit of three minutes, unless the Mayor has authorized additional time in advance. Groups should appoint a spokesperson. Please limit your comments to points not made by previous speakers. For more information on addressing the Council and decorum.

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