Creation and Membership

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The commission is required to be composed of at least six members. Three of the members are appointed by the county mayor subject to the confirmation of the county legislative body. Of those three, one appointee is to be a member of the county legislative body, one is to be a judge of one of the courts of record in the county (or the designee of the judge), and one is to be a genealogist. In addition to these appointees, certain county officers automatically become members of the county public records commission by nature of the office they hold. These ex officio members include the county clerk (or the designee of the county clerk), county register (or the designee of the register), county historian and, in those counties with a duly appointed archivist, the county archivist. In counties having a technology department or information technology department, the county legislative body may designate the director of such department as an ex officio member of the commission, and if so designated, the director or designee of the director shall also serve as an ex officio member of the commission. The ex officio members remain on the commission for as long as they hold their office.  The appointed members of the commission serve until they vacate office, at which time the county mayor appoints a replacement in the same manner as provided above.[1]Since the state statute mandating the records commission places no limitations on the ex officio members, there are no distinctions between the ex officio members and appointed members. All members of the County Public Records Commission have the same rights and privileges, including voting rights.[2]If your county does not have a public records commission or if your records commission has become inactive, it is strongly recommended that you begin taking steps to comply with the law and establish the commission.

Sample resolution for creating a public records commission

           [1]T.C.A. § 10-7-401.

          [2]Op. Tenn. Att’y Gen. No. 98-114 (June 23, 1998).