What is a Public Record?
Public records are defined as any documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by the Town.
Custodian of Records
The Town has designated the Town Clerk as the Custodian of the Town's public records. Her contact information is:
Cherry Stowe - Town Clerk
In-person/by mail: 7707-1 US Highway 1, Vero Beach, FL 32967
Tel: (772) 581-2770
Fax: (772) 581-2771
The Custodian may designate another officer or employee of the Town to permit the inspection and copying of public records. The Building Clerk is designated to permit the inspection and copying of public records held within the building department. Every person who has custody of a public record shall permit the record to be inspected and examined by any person desiring to do so, at a reasonable time, under reasonable conditions, and under supervision by the custodian of the public records or a designee, except for those exemptions provided by law.
Confidential Records and Exemptions
Confidential records are not subject to inspection by the public and may be released only to those persons and entities designated in the Florida Statutes.
Exempt records are exempt from disclosure; the Town is prohibited from disclosing these records in all circumstances. Only the Town Attorney has the discretion to disclose exempt records. If the Town establishes that only part of a record is exempt, the custodian will redact (conceal) that portion of the record and permit the inspection and copying of the remainder of the record that is not exempt. If redaction is necessary, the Custodian may create a redacted copy for inspection, so as to protect the record copy from damage due to the redaction process. Whenever a record or portion thereof is exempt, the requester must be provided in writing with the basis and reason for the exemption and the statutory citation.
If a the Town holds a public record with information about you that is exempt, you must notify the Custodian and submit a Public Records Exemption Request Form. Click HERE to view the form.
Making a Public Record Request
Any person may make a public records request in person, by telephone, or in writing. It is your right to remain anonymous and you are not required to provide any personal identifying information with your Public Records Request. Materials will be made available for pick-up at Town Hall, unless you request otherwise (you may direct staff to your preferred distribution). Please be mindful that if you prefer email or regular mail, then the Custodian will need your relevant contact information for distribution. The Custodian will make a good faith effort to estimate for you when the Public Records Request will be fulfilled.
The Custodian will consult with the Town Attorney on requests for which the law is ambiguous or unclear to ensure accurate and full response to Public Records Requests. It is the Custodian's duty and pleasure to provide you with access to and/or copies of Public Records.
In support of and in addition to Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes; the following policy is followed in regard to applicable fees charged by the Town of Orchid. The Custodian of public records shall provide the requester with a good faith estimate of fees, related to the public records request, in writing, in advance of fu1fi11ing the request. Fees shall be charged per the following fee schedule:
In addition to the above fee schedule, when the nature or volume of public records requested to be inspected or copied requires extensive time on the part of the Town's staff (in a clerical or supervisory capacity) or a vendor, the Town may levy a special service charge based on the cost incurred by the use of the labor of the staff or vendor providing/preparing/supervising the public records.
If a public records request requires more than 30 minutes of Town staff's time in locating, reviewing, redacting (if applicable), and copying the requested material, then it is considered "requiring extensive time" per the above paragraph. The following fee schedule applies for the special service charge:
Fees shall be deposited in the General Fund as Miscellaneous Income. A deposit in the amount of the estimated fees may be collected by the Town in advance of processing the public records request. The Custodian shall refund, to the requester, any amount paid in excess of the actual costs, at the time of distribution of the copies or inspection of the records, or as soon as possible thereafter. There is no refund for requesters who neglect to collect the requested copies or inspect the requested records. Once records are available in response to a request, they will remain available for 30 days, after which time the request is considered abandoned.
The Town Manager may choose to waive the fees if that is found to be in the best interest of the Town to do so.
Town Records Made Available Online
The Town is eager to provide easy access to documents online that may be of interest to the public.
Below is a list of records available on this website. Simply click to navigate to the correct page.
Of course, you are very welcome and have the right to make a request for any of these and other
records via a public records request also.
Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not wish your email address to be released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to the Town Administration or its officials. Instead, contact this office by phone or letter.
Public Records Requests
Town of Orchid is fully committed to transparency. Per Chapter 119 Public Records of the Florida Statutes, it is the policy of the Town, that all public records shall be open for inspection and available for copying by any person desiring to do so, at any reasonable time, under reasonable conditions, and under supervision by the custodian of the public records.