Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Council Statement

Provo City seal
The Provo Municipal Council is committed to the rule of law. We encourage all citizens to abide by existing laws and welcome advocacy for changes to laws that citizens may disagree with.  We support city employees involved in educating citizens about municipal laws – including our police officers and zoning and parking enforcement staff. We support their efforts to help citizens come into compliance with those laws through enforcement actions, as needed. Due to resource constraints, enforcement investigations are often initiated as a result of information obtained from citizen complaints. Often, citizens are only willing to offer such information if they trust city staff and elected officials to maintain their privacy and an appropriate level of confidentiality. City employees, including elected officials, should not share personal information contained in enforcement records publicly.

The Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) in Utah Code Section 63G-2-201 provides citizens the right to request records from any government entity. However, some records are restricted and any record returned to a citizen through such a request may have some confidential information that is redacted. The GRAMA process has built-in safeguards to balance the public’s right to information against individual rights to privacy and confidentiality. Government records related to enforcement should be obtained by interested citizens through the GRAMA process. The Council will have a Work Meeting presentation on October 12th to further educate city staff, elected officials and interested citizens on privacy issues related to enforcement records and on the GRAMA process and its purpose.

We ask that city employees involved with enforcement treat citizens respectfully during investigations. We also encourage prioritization of citizen complaints based on the impact to the community of the alleged offense and based on the strength of evidence supporting the complaint.

We encourage citizens to be civil and respectful in civic discourse. Even where there are strong differences of opinion regarding policy or political ideology, we hope that citizens will use language that is respectful of the opinions of others and avoid words and phrases intended to personally discredit or embarrass.  Our hope is that we can disagree without being disagreeable. We wish to have vigorous policy discussions and debates without showing contempt for the opinions of others or the way they choose to serve their community.


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