Contact Information

Please contact the Clerk for the Board of Supervisor's Office for questions at (831) 636-4000 Ext. 11 or 13.

Clerk of the Board, Jennifer Frechette JFrechette@cosb.us

Assistant Clerk of the Board, Vanessa Delgado VDelgado@cosb.us

In accordance with the California Public Records Act (“Act”), Government Code §6250 et. seq., San Benito County (County) provides access to public records, except those exempt from disclosure by law. Under the Act, the public is entitled to copies of identifiable, non-exempt public records (Government Code §6253). The Act requires the County to provide access to, or copies of, records responsive to your request that are in its possession, subject to certain exceptions, pursuant to Government Code §6254, et seq. The Act does not require the County to provide information, answer questions, or create records that do not exist.

Make a Public Records Request

The County of San Benito uses NextRequest to facilitate a public records request. The County has 10 days (including weekends) after receipt of a request to initially respond to the requestor and let them know whether the records requested are disclosable and in the County’s possession. In most cases, after the initial 10 days, the deadline can be extended for an additional 14 days (including weekends) to allow for more time to search for and produce records. Please note that after a department compiles the records, County Counsel still needs time to review them within these statutory deadlines. You can review previous requests and responsive documents or submit your own new request for public documents. Start your communication with the County of San Benito County by submitting your request using our Public Records Request Portal.

 

The Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors also accepts requests pursuant to the California Public Records Act, Gov. Code Section 6250 et. seq., on behalf of San Benito County.

Public Records Requests may also be forwarded to Jennifer Frechette, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors in the following manner:

  • In person: Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, San Benito County, 481 Fourth Street, 1st Floor, Hollister, CA 95023-3840. Please ask for Jennifer Frechette or Vanessa Delgado
  • Via E-mail: JFrechette@cosb.us or VDelgado@cosb.us
  • Via Telephone: 831-636-4000
  • Via Fax: 831-636-4010
  • Via U.S. Mail: 481 Fourth Street, Hollister, CA 95023

Although a written request is not required, a clear description of the records you seek including dates, subjects, and titles helps County staff respond timely to your request. You are not required to provide your name, address or reason for the request; however, providing current contact information (e.g. telephone number, email or mailing address) allows County staff to reach you if there is a question regarding your request.

Policy Regarding Access to Public Records

The California Public Records Act declares that access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in the state because it gives the public an opportunity to monitor the functioning of their government. It is the county's goal to provide the public with timely access to its public records.

What is a Public Record? 

The California Government Code defines public records as, "…any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristic." For example, public records can include, but are not limited to, papers, books, maps, charts, photographs, audiotapes, videotapes, and information stored on a computer.

What are the County's Public Records?

The Public Records Act applies to the records of the county and all agencies, boards, and commissions created by the County’s Board of Supervisors.

Who can Request Public Records? 

Anyone may make a request to inspect or obtain a copy of a public record. A requester is not required to provide any personal identification or reason for the request.

What Can Be Requested?

Generally, all county records are available to the public unless there is a statute that exempts them from disclosure. California Government Code section 6254 provides a partial list of records that may be exempt from disclosure. Some of the types of records that are potentially exempt include:

  • Personnel records, medical records and similar files which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy if publicly disclosed;
  • Records pertaining to pending litigation to which a public agency is a party;
  • Preliminary drafts, notes and memorandum;
  • Records of complaints to or investigations conducted by a police agency;
  • Records covered by the attorney-client privilege;
  • Examination data used to administer a licensing, employment or academic examination; and
  • Criminal history information.
How your request is Processed
  1. All requests should be submitted through NextRequest or to the Clerk of the Board’s Office.
  2. Each department is responsible for compiling the requested records applicable to their department (except for records that the Clerk of the Board has on file). When the Clerk of the Board’s office receives a request, they will notify the applicable departments regarding the documents that need to be located and the deadline to do so.
  3. All responsive records located by a department will be forwarded to the Clerk of the Board’s office.
  4. The Clerk of the Board’s office will coordinate with County Counsel and determine which documents are disclosable. The Clerk of the Board’s office will then respond to the requestor and release the records.
Tips to expediate a Request
  • To speed up your request, make your request as specific as possible about the records you are seeking. For example, you may want to provide a date range for your request, the department or staff that created the requested records, and/or any helpful keywords. You may complete and submit a Public Records Request via NextRequest or our Clerk of the Board.
  • Provide contact information or arrange to call or meet with a department representative at a later time to discuss the availability of the requested records.
  • Let the County department know whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies made (which may involve a cost - see final section, below).
When You Can Expect a Response

Upon receiving a request for records that reasonably describes an identifiable record or records, County staff will make every reasonable effort to make the records promptly available to you upon the payment of any applicable fees. If County staff cannot respond immediately, they will let you know when you can reasonably expect a response. The County has up to 10 days within which to provide a record.  In certain circumstances, the County can extend the time for up to 14 days and must be evidence in writing setting forth the reasons for the delay and the expected date of determination.

When Requested Records are Ready

After you receive a response from the County department concerning the availability of the requested records, you can arrange to inspect the records, have them copied or emailed:

  • Inspection - If you wish to inspect the records and have provided contact information, a department representative will contact you to make an appointment to inspect the records. If you have not provided the department with contact information, you will need to call or return to the department to arrange for inspection of the records. There is no fee associated with inspecting public records.
  • Copies - If you wish to obtain copies of records and have provided contact information, a department representative will contact you with a time and cost estimate for producing the requested records. You may, upon payment of applicable fees, pick up the records when they become available or have them mailed to you. If you have not provided the department with contact information, you will need to call or return to the department to arrange for copying and pick up of the records.
  • Email - There is no cost for receiving records electronically