City Records Kept in Outdoor Storage Container

By law, one of the responsibilities of City Government is to maintain the integrity and completeness of the Public Record; that is all documents required to be archived and necessary to operate a City.

Due to frequent turnover of City Staff, there is little "institutional memory" within City Hall.

Former City Manager Ron Bates and Community Development Director Justin Powers, with approval of the City Council in October 2007, sought to improve the situation.See Agenda Report for Document Scanning

A contract was approved with Questys to scan City files, perform Optical Character Recognition, and install searching software.

In early December 2007, a vehicle crashed through the multi-purpose room.

While the building was being repaired, Public Works staff converted the document storage room into a City Council meeting room.

The document scanning process began during this time.

At some point, important City documents were moved into outdoor Storage Containers (pictured above). Such Containers are prohibited in residential areas.

In June 2008, the Community Development Director was laid off.

The document scanning process apparently was also suspended.

To fill Citizen Public Records Requests, or for City Staff to research issues, now requires trips to the Storage Containers and sorting through boxes to find needed files.

With the Staff turnover since the process started, it is not known whether remaining staff knows what has been scanned and what hasn't, and if important documents have been thrown out.

As the situation lingers, and the City Council does not take action, things will only get worse.

Important City Records will likely disappear, or effectively disappear, since no one will know where they are.

Expenditure Warrants show $220.39 monthly charge to Mobile Storage Group for the Multi-Purpose Room Storage Container.