The Public Records Act evolved from the principle that Ohio’s citizens are entitled to access the records of their government. It is the policy of Washington Township to strictly adhere to the state’s Public Records Act to provide prompt inspection of public records and to provide copies of public records within a reasonable period of time.
In addition, it is Washington Township’s policy that, as required by Ohio law, records will be organized and maintained so that they are made available for inspection to any person at all reasonable times during regular business hours.
However, not all of Washington Township’s records are considered public records. Exempt records include records that the release of which is prohibited by state or federal law, or that are subject to an express exception set forth in Ohio’s Public Records Act, which may be released only if Washington Township decides to waive the express exception.
To request a public record, the requestor must at least identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow Washington Township to identify, retrieve and review the records.
The requestor does not have to put a records request in writing, and does not have to provide his/her identity or the intended use of the requested public record. However, the records custodian may ask for a written request and may ask for the requestor’s identity and/or intended use of the information requested if it would benefit the requestor by helping the public office identify, locate or deliver the records being sought, and the requestor is informed that a written request and the requestor’s identity and intended use of the information requested are not required.
Those seeking public records should be charged only the actual cost to make copies.