Functions Of The City Clerk’s Office
A “Clerk” is one of the oldest and most honorable professions beginning with the early Middle Ages when churches and governments recognized the need for accurate record keeping. In the Bible, Acts 19:35 states that the “City Clerk” was called upon to quiet the crowd. The first settlers in American created the office of town clerk and this position continues today as essential to municipal government. Every city and town in the nation, regardless of size or form of government, has a clerk or equivalent position. Clerks are expected to know almost everything about the operation of the government or where to find the information.
- Accurate recording of actions taken by City Commission and 14 other various advisory boards by written minutes, audio and video tape recordings
- Dissemination of that information to the public, tax payers, media, and other city departments through written word, web publishing, electronic imaging, e-mail , etc.
- Precise record keeping of original paper copies and electronic media of minutes, ordinances, resolutions, contracts, agreements, maps, easements and all legal documents enacted by the City of Bartow
- Preparation of agendas for meetings
- Have thorough knowledge of city’s laws, policies, and procedures
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships with city officials, employees and the general public
- Collection, collation, and distribution of information from all departments for City Boards and Commissions action and information
- Liaison or representative for the City between the City staff and the City consultants, various boards and commissions, the public, the media, and other city departments with regard to the legal records of the City
- Maintain and update city’s code of ordinances or laws
- Attest and affix the City’s seal to all official contracts and documents and distribute copies to appropriate agencies.
- Qualifying (making sure that they meet the requirements) of candidates for election of City Commission
- Overseeing the election process with the help of the County Supervisor of Elections
The Custodian of Public Records for the City of Bartow is the City Clerk.
The State of Florida adopted Chapter 119 website of the Florida Statutes or the "Public Records Law" in 1909. Florida's public records law, listed in Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes, defines public records as:
"All documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software or other material, regardless of physical form, or characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency."
Requests & Fulfillment
Public records held by the City are available upon request for inspection or copying pursuant to Chapter 119, Florida Statutes website, and Article I, Section 24 of the State Constitution website.
Access to Public Records
Some public records are already provided for the public on the City's website and are immediately available for viewing and downloading. Other records are not as readily available and will have to be located, reviewed for exempt or confidential information, and redacted if necessary. As such, the time to fulfill a public records request will vary depending upon the particular record or records requested and the volume of the request.
The City Clerk’s Office is committed to fulfilling your request as quickly and efficiently as is reasonably possible.
Fees for copies of records are provided in s. 119.07(4), Florida Statutes, the general fee provision for copies of public records. Fees for those records generally are 15 cents per page for paper copies. Some requests, however, may be subject to a statutorily - authorized special service charge for extensive use of information technology resources or personnel services or both. Service charges are determined by the lowest paid employee assigned to assist in filling the public records request.
Any applicable charges will be invoiced and any charges must be paid prior to delivery of copies.
Making a Public Record Request
Public records requests can be made by either by phone, email, mail, telephone, fax or in person.
By Mail or in Person:
City Clerk’s Office
City of Bartow
450 N. Wilson Avenue
Bartow, FL 33830
By Telephone: 863-534-0100
By Fax: 863-534-0409