[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Haverstraw as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Public Access
[Adopted 11-7-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988]
The people's right to know the process of government decisionmaking and the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.
These regulations provide information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained.
The following records, pursuant to Village and state law, are not accessible to the public:
Records that are specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal statute.
Records that, if disclosed, would impair present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations.
Records that are trade secrets or are submitted to an agency by a commercial enterprise or derived from information obtained from a commercial enterprise and which, if disclosed, would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise.
[Amended 8-11-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997]
Records that are compiled for law enforcement purposes and which, if disclosed, would:
Interfere with law enforcement investigation or judicial proceedings;
Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication;
Identify a confidential source or disclose confidential information relating to a criminal investigation; or
Reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures.
Records that, if disclosed, would endanger the life or safety of any person.
Records that are interagency or intra-agency materials which:
Are not statistical or factual tabulations of data.
Are not instructions to staff that affect the public.
Are not final agency policy or determinations.
Are not external audits, including but not limited to audits performed by the Comptroller and the federal government.
Are examination questions or answers which are requested prior to the final administration of such questions.
Are computer access codes.
Are photographs, microphotographs, videotape or other recorded images prepared under authority of § 1111-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
[Added 8-11-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997]
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Haverstraw is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the following persons as records access officers:
[Amended 3-3-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
Records access officers are responsible for ensuring appropriate agency response to public requests for access to records. The designation of records access officers shall not be construed to prohibit officials who have, in the past, been authorized to make records or information available to the public from continuing to do so. Records access officers shall ensure that personnel:
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list.
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary.
Upon request for copies of records, make a copy available upon payment or offer to pay established fees, if any, in accordance with § 59-8.
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy.
[Amended 3-3-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at the office of the Village Clerk, 40 New Main Street, Haverstraw, New York 10927.
Requests for public access to records shall be accepted and records produced during all hours regularly open for business. These hours are 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
A written request is required.
A response shall be given regarding any request reasonably describing the record or records sought within five business days of receipt of the request.
A request shall reasonably describe the record or 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.
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 acknowledgment 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 acknowledgment of receipt of a request, the request may be construed as a denial of access that may be appealed.
The records access officer shall maintain a reasonably detailed current list by subject matter of all records in its possession, whether or not records are available pursuant to Subdivision 2 of § 87 of the Public Officers Law.
The subject matter list shall be sufficiently detailed to permit identification of the category of the record sought.
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.
[Amended 8-11-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997; 3-3-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
Denial of access to records shall be in writing, stating the reason therefor and advising the requester of the right to appeal to the individual or body established to hear appeals.
If requested records are not provided promptly, as required in § 59-5D of these regulations, such failure shall also be deemed a denial of access.
The following person or persons or body shall hear appeals for denials of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law: The Village Board of the Village of Haverstraw, 40 New Main Street, Haverstraw, New York 10927, (914) 429-0300. Appeals shall be made within 30 days of denial.
The time for deciding an appeal by the individual or body designated to hear appeals shall commence upon request of written appeal, identifying:
The date of the appeal.
The date and location of the requests for records.
The records to which the requester was denied access.
Whether the denial of access was in writing or due to failure to provide records promptly, as required by § 59-5D.
The name and return address of the requester.
The person or body designated to hear appeals shall transmit to the Committee on Open Government copies of all appeals. Such copies shall be addressed to Committee on Open Government, Department of State, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12231.
The person or body designated to hear appeals shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Open Government of its determination, in writing, within 10 business days of receipt of an appeal. The determination shall be transmitted to the Committee on Public Access to Records in the same manner as set forth in Subsection E of this section.
Copies of records shall be provided on the following fee schedule:
The fee for copies of records other than photocopies which are nine inches by 14 inches or less shall be as set forth in the Village schedule of fees, excluding fixed agency costs such as salaries.
[Amended 1-18-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994; 8-11-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997]
A notice containing the title or name and business address of the records access officers and appeals person or body and the location where records can be seen or copied shall be posted in a conspicuous location wherever records are kept and/or published in a local newspaper of general circulation.