Oakland establishes public records policy

The town and its police department have written a policy that provides guidelines for processing public records requested by citizens.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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The requests for public records are increasing, and the time it takes town employees to fulfill these requests is cutting into their regular work load — so the town of Oakland has created a public records policy that applies to both Town Hall and the Oakland Police Department.

Town Clerk Kim Gay and Stacie Quinn, public records custodian at the OPD, worked together to create a document that fits both areas of the town. The two have also committed to holding periodic classes to keep department heads and employees updated.

One purpose of the policy is to affirm citizens' right to access town records, except those exempted by law. It states that requests can be made in person or in writing or by email, telephone or fax.

Fees were set, as well, and vary depending on the amount of time the town employee has to take to obtain the records and on the number of pages requested.


In other news:

• The commission approved the second reading and public hearing of multiple ordinances.

One is a zoning map amendment for the Oakland Park neighborhood from PUD Planned Unit Development, A-1 Agricultural and R-1A Single-Family Residential to PUD.

Another amends the town's future land-use element of its Comprehensive Plan by establishing two more categories: Medium Density Residential and Mixed Use Activity Center, which Mayor Kathy Stark said gives the town more flexibility in controlling what is developed in the town.

The third changes the future land-use designation from Commercial to Mixed Use Activity Center for roughly 58 acres of land owned by the Florida Turnpike and Florida Department of Transportation east of the turnpike, south of Oakland Avenue, north of West Colonial Drive and west of Jefferson Street. The applicant, Dwight Saathoff, of PFD, LLC, proposes to develop a mixed-residential development that ranges from multi-family to single-family dwellings.

• Mayor Kathy Stark was presented with the Mayor John Land Years of Service Award from Mark Sittig, of the Florida League of Cities for her 20 years of elected service to the town of Oakland. She was recognized for improving the quality of life in the town and for being an outstanding public servant.

• Commissioners approved the consent agenda, which included three minor updates to the employee handbook, as well as the manager's report. Dennis Foltz's report included a December calendar of events in the town; the announcement of Mayor Kathy Stark's State of the Town Address at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31; and the recognition of Paul Zakhary's election as president of the Oakland Coalition of Churches.


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