Town of Dover, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Dover during codification 2-11-1991 by L.L. No. 3-1991; amended in its entirety 10-24-2012 by L.L. No. 6-2012. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Records management — See Ch. 22.
Fees — See Ch. 73.

§ 23-1 Purpose and scope.

A. 
The people's right to know the process of government decisionmaking and the documents and statistics leading to determination is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.
B. 
These regulations provide information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained.
C. 
Personnel shall furnish to the public the information and records required by the Freedom of Information Law, as well as records otherwise available by law.
D. 
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.

§ 23-2 Designation of Records Access Officer; duties.

A. 
The Town Board is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the following person as the Records Access Officer: Town Clerk, 126 East Duncan Hill Rd., Dover Plains, NY.
B. 
The Records Access Officer is responsible for ensuring appropriate agency response to public requests for access to records. The designation of the Records Access Officer shall not be construed to prohibit officials who have in the past been authorized to make records or information available to the public from doing so.
C. 
The Records Access Officer shall ensure that personnel:
(1) 
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list.
(2) 
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary.
(3) 
Upon locating the records, take one of the following actions:
(a) 
Make records available for inspection.
(b) 
Deny access to records in whole or in part and explain, in writing, the reasons therefor.
(4) 
Upon request for copies of records, take one of the following actions:
(a) 
Make a copy available upon payment or an offer to pay the established fees, if any, in accordance with § 23-8.
(b) 
Permit the requester to copy those records.
(5) 
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy.
(6) 
Upon failure to locate records, certify that:
(a) 
The Town is not the custodian for such records; or
(b) 
The records of which the Town is a custodian cannot be found after a diligent search.

§ 23-3 Location of records.

Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at the Town Clerk's office, 126 East Duncan Hill Rd., Dover Plains, NY.

§ 23-4 Hours for public inspection.

Requests for public access to records shall be accepted in person, in writing or by fax or e-mail, and records produced during all hours that the Clerk's office is regularly open for business.

§ 23-5 Requests for access to records.

A. 
A written request may be required, but oral, faxed and e-mailed requests may be accepted when records are readily available.
B. 
A response shall be given within five business days of receipt of any request reasonably describing the record or records sought. The response shall also:
(1) 
Inform the requester that the request does not reasonably describe the records sought, including direction, to the extent possible, that would enable the person to request records reasonably described;
(2) 
Grant or deny access to the records in whole or part;
(3) 
Acknowledge receipt of the request in writing, including an approximate date when the request will be granted or denied in whole or in part;
(4) 
If receipt of the request was acknowledged in writing including an approximate date when the request would be granted but circumstances prevent disclosure within that time, the response will provide a reason for the inability and a date within a reasonable period when the request will be granted in whole or in part.
C. 
A request shall reasonably describe the record/records sought. Whenever possible, a person requesting records should supply information regarding dates, file designations or other information that may help to describe the records sought.
D. 
If the Records Access Officer does not provide or deny access to the record sought within five business days of receipt of a request, he or she shall furnish a written acknowledgement of receipt of the request and a statement of the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied. If access to records is neither granted nor denied within 10 business days after the date of acknowledgement of receipt of a request, the request may be construed as a denial of access that may be appealed.

§ 23-6 Subject matter list.

A. 
The Records Access Officer shall maintain a reasonably detailed current list by subject matter of all records in his or her possession, whether or not records are available pursuant to § 87, Subdivision 2, of the Public Officers Law.
B. 
The subject matter list shall be sufficiently detailed to permit identification of the category of the record sought.
C. 
The subject matter list shall be updated not less than twice per year. The most recent update shall appear on the first page of the subject matter list.

§ 23-7 Denial of access to records; appeals.

A. 
Denial of access to records shall be in writing stating the reason therefor and advising the requester of the right to appeal to the body established to hear appeals.
B. 
If requested records are not provided promptly, as required in § 23-5D of this chapter, such failure shall also be deemed a denial of access.
C. 
The Supervisor shall hear appeals for denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law.
D. 
The time for deciding an appeal by the person designated to hear appeals shall commence upon receipt of a written appeal identifying:
(1) 
The date of the appeal.
(2) 
The date and location of the request for records.
(3) 
The records to which the requester was denied access.
(4) 
Whether the denial of access was in writing or due to failure to provide records promptly as required by § 23-5D.
(5) 
The name and return address of the requester.
E. 
The person designated to hear appeals shall inform the requester of his decision, in writing, within 10 business days of an appeal.
F. 
The person designated to hear appeals shall immediately forward to the Committee on Open Government copies of all appeals upon receipt and ensuing determination thereon.

§ 23-8 Fees.

The following fees shall be charged:
A. 
Inspection of records; no fee.
B. 
Search for records; no fee.
C. 
Any certification pursuant to this chapter: as provided in Chapter 73, Fees.
D. 
Photocopies not exceeding nine inches by 14 inches: as provided in Chapter 73, Fees.
E. 
Fees for copies of records other than photocopies which are nine inches by 14 inches or less in size shall be the actual copying cost, excluding fixed agency costs such as salaries, except when a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute.
F. 
The fee an agency may charge for a copy of any other record is based on the actual cost of reproduction and may include only the following:
(1) 
An amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare a copy of the requested record, but only when more than two hours of the employee's time is necessary to do so; and
(2) 
The actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; or
(3) 
The actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, and if such service is used to prepare the copy.
(4) 
When an agency has the ability to retrieve or extract a record or data maintained in a computer storage system with reasonable effort, or when doing so requires less employee time than engaging in manual retrieval or redactions from nonelectronic records, the agency shall be required to retrieve or extract such record or data electronically. In such case, the agency may charge a fee in accordance with Subsection F(1) and (2) above.
(5) 
An agency shall inform a person requesting a record of the estimated cost of preparing a copy of the record if more than two hours of an agency employee's time is needed, or if it is necessary to retain an outside professional service to prepare a copy of the record.
(6) 
An agency may require that the fee for copying or reproducing a record be paid in advance of the preparation of such copy.

§ 23-9 Notice to be posted.

A notice containing the title or name and business address of the Records Access Officers and appeals body and the location where records can be seen or copies shall be posted in a conspicuous location wherever records are kept.