From left, Florence Almeda (Records Technician), Steve Mohr ( Asst. Records Administrator), Derrick Haynes (Records Technician), Lisa Coombes (Records Administrator), Vicky Gibson (Records Technician)

Did you know that there is a work group responsible for managing public records created and received by the Development Services Department and the Department of City Planning? This team is led by Lisa Coombes, Records Administrator, and provides essential services for thousands of people each year.

Lisa and her team are responsible for managing records for both Development Services and City Planning. They perform regular inventories, assist with public records requests, manage records in off-site storage, and digitize records for accessibility and preservation (they’ve scanned more than 36,800 permit applications to date!). The Records group also maintains records for development projects, past and present.

Steve Mohr, Assistant Records Administrator, supervises the Records Technicians at the Records Center in the DSCSC. The Records Center serves as a temporary “home” for plans that are currently being reviewed by City staff. Once submitted, all projects are assigned to a bin in the Records Center, and as you can see in today’s blog photo, they remain full! Plans are constantly rotated in and out as City staff work to review them. This is also the place where our customers pick up their plans when a review cycle has ended.

Another duty of the Records Administrator is to ensure compliance with NCGS 121 and 132 (N.C. public records laws). Records that are created or received in the transaction of public business, regardless of format, are considered public records in North Carolina and must be kept in accordance with the records schedule as set forth by the state. This includes paper, texts, tweets, and voice mail records, to name a few.

Thankfully, Lisa has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this field. Before coming to work for the City in 2012, she worked for the North Carolina State Archives as an Archivist and as a Records Analyst. In the two years preceding her employment with the City, she drove more than 10,000 miles teaching public records laws to local governments. Lisa has a B.A. from Eckerd College and a M.A. from N.C. State University. But she is not ALL about records! Lisa is married and has a daughter, Lucy, and a dog, Joey Vee. She grew up on a 40 acre 1880’s homestead in northern Michigan, which her family turned into a B&B, antique furniture store, and small neighborhood development. She is an avid reader and loves to travel (she’s been to ten countries and has plans to visit many more!).

And now for a pop quiz…

Q. What do you (City employee) do with an old document found in the bottom of your filing cabinet? It appears to be from the early 90’s and is pretty grungy.

A1. Trash it. If no one has needed it by now, no one ever will!
A2. Give it to your dad, the history buff. He LOVES old stuff about the City!
A3. Have no idea – so you leave it where you found it. Outta sight, outta mind?!?!
A4. Call the Records Administrator.

Hopefully, you chose A4. Records retention in N.C. is scheduled by the Department of Cultural Resources. After the schedule is developed, our City Council adopts it and we are subject to it. Lisa can determine whether or not the record must be kept, and if it is considered "confidential." Employees should also contact Lisa if someone asks for a copy of a public record as she works with the Public Affairs office to satisfy these requests.

Thanks so much for reading! Have a wonderful day.