Town of Athens, NY
Greene County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Athens as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 2-13-1989]

§ 58-1 Adoption of Schedule MU-1.

A. 
Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1, issued pursuant to Article 57-A of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law and containing legal minimum retention periods for municipal government records, is hereby adopted for use by all municipal officers in disposing of municipal government records listed therein.
B. 
In accordance with Article 57-A:
(1) 
Only those records will be disposed of that are described in Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1 after they have met the minimum retention period prescribed therein.
(2) 
Only those records will be disposed of that do not have sufficient administrative, fiscal, legal or historical value to merit retention beyond established time periods.
[Adopted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]

§ 58-2 Title.

This article may be known and cited as the "Public Access to Records Law for the Town of Athens."

§ 58-3 Purpose and scope.

A. 
The people's right to know the process of government decision making 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.
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.

§ 58-4 Designation of records access officer.

A. 
The Town Board of the Town of Athens is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the following person as records access officer: Town Clerk, 2 First Street, Athens, New York, 12015.
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 continuing to do so.
C. 
Records access officers 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; or
(b) 
Deny access to the records in whole or in part and explain, in writing, the reasons therefor.
(4) 
Upon request for copies of records:
(a) 
Make a copy available upon payment or offer to pay established fees, if any, in accordance with § 58-10B.
(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 of Athens is not the custodian for such records; or
(b) 
The records of which the Town of Athens is a custodian cannot be found after a diligent search.

§ 58-5 Location of records.

Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at the Town Clerk's office, 2 First Street, Athens, New York, 12015.

§ 58-6 Hours for public inspection.

Records shall be available for inspection during regular business hours as established by the Town Clerk.

§ 58-7 Requests for access to records.

A. 
A written request may be required, but oral requests may be accepted when records are readily available.
B. 
A response shall be given regarding any request reasonably describing the record or records sought within five business days of receipt of the request.
C. 
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.
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 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.

§ 58-8 Subject matter list.

A. 
The records access officer shall maintain a reasonable, detailed current list by subject matter of all records in his/her possession, whether or not records are available pursuant to Subdivision 2 of § 87 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.

§ 58-9 Denial of access to records.

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 individual or body established to hear appeals.
B. 
If requested records are not provided promptly, as required in § 58-7D of this article, such failure shall also be deemed a denial of access.
C. 
The Town 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 individual or body 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 requests 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 § 58-7D.
(5) 
The name and address of the requester.
E. 
The individual or body designated to hear appeals shall inform the requester of his/her or its decision in writing within 10 business days of receipt of an appeal.
F. 
The person or body designated to hear appeals shall transmit to the Committee on Public Access to Records copies of all appeals upon receipt of appeals. Such copies should be addressed to:
Committee on Public Access to Records
Department of State
State Street
Albany, New York 12231
G. 
The person or body designated to hear appeals shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Public Access to Records of his/her or 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 F.

§ 58-10 Fees.

A. 
There shall be no fees charged for:
(1) 
Inspection of records.
(2) 
Search for records.
(3) 
Any certification pursuant to this article.
B. 
Fees for photocopies.
(1) 
The fee for copies not exceeding nine by 14 inches made on the Town Clerk's copy machine is $0.25.
(2) 
The fee for copies of records other than photocopies which are nine by 14 inches or less in size shall be the actual copying cost excluding fixed agency costs, such as salaries.

§ 58-11 Public notice.

A notice containing the title or name and business address of the records access officer 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 or published in a local newspaper of general circulation.