Municipal Road Aid Reminder
We are entering budget season and the KLC Legal Team would like to take this opportunity to remind our cities that they need to have a public hearing to get public input on road and bridge projects before spending municipal road aid funds. KRS 174.100(1). A lot of our cities have found that a good time to conduct this hearing is during the overall budget process.
Notice for the hearing must be given at least seven, and not more than twenty-one days before the hearing and before beginning work on any projects using road aid funds. KRS 174.100(1). At the hearing, any person may speak about any proposed project, any project that they wish to propose, project prioritization, and any other matter related to road or bridge projects in the city. KRS 174.100(2). The city is not bound by the testimony heard, but the city must give the testimony due consideration. KRS 174.100(3).
A single hearing encompassing the entire road and bridge program of the city meets the statutory requirement. Thus, your city might consider having this hearing as part of the overall budget process. KRS 174.100(5). In the alternative, it is also proper to have the public road aid fund hearings throughout the year as the need to expend the funds arise.
If you have any additional questions, please contact the KLC Legal Team at 800.876.4552.
ATTENTION CITY ATTORNEYS AND OFFICIALS:
The KLC Legal Team has compiled summaries of all of the Kentucky Attorney General Opinions, including Open Records and Open Meetings, for the first quarter of the year.
As always, we are striving to provide the most timely and helpful legal information for our cities.
Please see this link for the current summary.
Budget season is upon us yet again and KLC Legal would like to take the opportunity to remind you of some important dates and requirements.
The proposed budget must be submitted by the executive authority, together with a budget message, to the legislative body no later than Thursday, June 1, 2017. The executive authority is the mayor in mayor-council and mayor-alderman cities. In commission cities, the executive authority is the commission.
The budget message is required by KRS 91A.030(7) to explain:
1) The revenue raising and expenditure goals fixed by the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
2) Important features of activities anticipated in the budget.
3) The reasons for significant changes in program goals and appropriations levels from the previous year.
4) Any major changes in financial policy.
Saturday, July 1, 2017 is the start of the fiscal year and the deadline for our cities to enact their budgets.
If you have any questions, please contact KLC Legal at 1.800.876.4552.
Employee Applications and Open Records Law
Our cities are presented every day with requests under the Kentucky Open Records Act (KRS 61.870 to 61.884). But just like fashion, the types of requests our cities receive seem to go in and out of style.
The KLC Legal Team noticed recently that there was a large uptick in open records requests pertaining to police officer employment applications. We thought this would be a good time for a quick review on city employee applications, as a whole, and how police officer applications slightly differ under the Kentucky Open Records Act and KRS 15.400.
As an initial step, it is wise to remember that there is a statutory exemption for public records containing information of a personal nature where public disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. KRS 61.878(1)(a).
So what type of information is of a personal nature when it comes to a city employee's employment application?
In 1993, the Kentucky Attorney General issued an opinion regarding a citizen's request for, among other information, the employment applications and salary history for all city employees.
The Attorney General found the employment applications and salary records to be public records that must be made available for inspection upon request, but held that information “of a purely personal character, including the employee’s home address, social security number, marital status, and medical information” could be redacted. The AG reasoned that “the public has a right to know about that which is related to the governmental employee’s public and work related activities,” including name, position, work station and salary. 93-ORD-2.
It is worth noting that the information of a purely personal character in 93-ORD-2 is NOT exhaustive. State law, court opinions, and other Attorney General opinions often identify other personal information that is exempt from disclosure. Specifically regarding the privacy interests of peace officers, KRS 15.400(3) states, "[t]he Open Records Act notwithstanding, the person's home address, telephone number, date of birth, Social Security number, background investigation, medical examination, psychological examination, and polygraph examination conducted for any person seeking certification pursuant to KRS 15.380 to 15.404 shall not be subject to disclosure."
So in responding to an open records request for a police officer's employment application, it is paramount for the city official responding to keep these exempt items of personal information in mind for redaction purposes. The city, as with any open records request, should also explore if any of the other statutory exemptions allowable under KRS 61.878(1) may also apply.
As always, if you have any questions on this or any other open records requests, please contact the KLC Legal Team at 800.876.4552.
Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona Sample Ordinance Now Available
A sample ordinance incorporating the new standard of municipal sign regulation set forth in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona (135 S.Ct 2218) is now available! In this “blockbuster” case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that regulating signage on the basis of categories, where each category is treated differently, is an unconstitutional content-based regulation. Many, if not most, cities must now revise their sign codes. Check out this sample ordinance that can be used as a basis to bring your code up to compliance and avoid First Amendment headaches!
If you have questions about Reed or the sample ordinance, contact KLC Member Legal Services at 800-876-4552.