How to make a Public Records Request

 for the City of Whittier

 

You may have questions about how Whittier operates, decisions that are made, e-mails that are sent to individuals and companies, contracts or other types of correspondences.  Some of this can affect you directly which can include financially.  A Public Records Request (which is your right) will get you a much better picture of what our elected officials doing.  Are they working in the best interest of the City and it's residences or their own.  You can find out if they are in violation of agreements made with other local or state agencies with a public records request. 

We found this early on with the oil project where agreements were made with the County of Los Angeles and the City of Whittier for the funding to purchased the hills and leave them as they were in perpetuity.  The City of Whittier was required to get permission from the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to change the land status.   Those terms were in the lease that the City of Whittier agreed to with the County.  The County never changed the status and the City continued on with the project and lost the case in court.  This has cost the City of Whittier millions of taxpayersdollars.  It is also a blunder that would have never been found if it was not for a Public Records Request.  

How do you do a Public Records Request?

1.  Decide what it is that you want information on - It could be anything from Why your water rates are going up (may be a little complicated) to How many underground sewer lines have broken for a period time,  the cost and what has been the City's replacement plan for all of this for the last 10 years.

2.  Don't be too specific of what you're asking for - If you get too specific and you are off by a word then you may not get the information.  Date ranges along with general questions work best.

3.  If you don't get the answer you need go back and ask it again - You may need to re-ask several times before you get your answer.  I have had to do that.  Even to the point it was a few years later before I got the information I asked for.

4.  Ask questions - Please feel free to e-mail us if you have any questions about filling out a Public Records Request.  We will  be providing Public Record Request examples to include; blank City Forms that you can use along with providing the e-mail information on where you can e-mail your requests to.  You need not show up in person to do a public records request.  It can be done by e-mail.

Blank Public Records Request Form

Example of a Public Records Request

Scan and E-mail your Public Records Request to Whittier's City Clerk/Treasure Kathryn Marshall

You can also use her e-mail address   kmarshall@cityofwhittier.org  Just paste it into your e-mail.

Please ask to have your request time and date stamped and e-mailed back to you to document that the City did receive your public records request.

If you have any questions please e-mail us at  whittierhillsoilwatch@yahoo.com

for help.

BE INFORMED, KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR CITY.