I have received your request. Attached is the document from Vice Mayor Burnette at last night’s meeting.
Below is an excerpt from the Government in the Sunshine Manual relating to “notes”.
Beginning on pg 53: “While the broad definition of the term “public record” ensures that the public’s right of access includes preliminary and nonfinal records, the Shevin decision recognizes that not every record made or received in the course of official business is prepared to “perpetuate, communicate or formalize knowledge.” Accordingly, preliminary drafts or notes prepared for the personal use of the writer may constitute mere “precursors” of public records if they are not intended to be the final evidence of the knowledge recorded. See Shevin v. Byron, Harless, Schaffer, Reid and Associates, Inc., 379 So. 2d 633, 640 (Fla.1980). And see the discussion of “attorney notes” on pages 113-114.
Thus, public employees’ notes to themselves “which are designed for their own personal use in remembering certain things do not fall within the definition of ‘public record.’” (e.s.) Justice Coalition v. The First District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission, 823 So. 2d 185,192 (Fla. 1st DCA 2002). Accord Coleman v. Austin, 521 So. 2d 247 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988),holding that preliminary handwritten notes prepared by agency attorneys and intended only for the attorneys’ own personal use are not public records. See also AGO 10-55 (handwritten personal notes taken by city manager to assist in remembering matters discussed during manager’s interviews of city employees are not public records “if the notes have not been transcribed or shown to others and were not intended to perpetuate, communicate, or formalize knowledge”); government-in-the-sunshine-manual and Inf. Op. to Trovato, June 2, 2009 (to the extent city commissioner has taken notes for his own personal use and such notes are not intended to perpetuate, communicate, or formalize knowledge, personal notes taken at a workshop or during a commission meeting would not be considered public records)”
ROBIN L. FENWICK, CMC