Town of Greenburgh, NY
Westchester County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh 4-23-1975 by L.L. No. 6-1975. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 360-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Freedom of Information Act of the Town of Greenburgh."

§ 360-2 Purpose; 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. 
This chapter provides information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained from agencies. The term "agency" shall mean the Town of Greenburgh and its departments, divisions, offices, bureaus and boards or commissions created or appointed by the Town Board and any special or improvement district of the Town, other than a library district, a fire district, a district corporation or a district having a separately elected governing body.
[Amended 9-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978]
C. 
Town personnel shall furnish to the public the information and records required by the Freedom of Information Law [1]and those which were furnished to the public prior to its enactment.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Public Officers Law § 84 et seq.
D. 
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.

§ 360-3 Designation of records access officer.

A. 
The Town Board shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and shall designate the Town Clerk as records access officer. The records access officer shall have the duty of coordinating the Town response to public requests for access to records. However, the public shall not be denied access to records by Town personnel who have in the past been authorized to make records or information available.
B. 
The records access officer is responsible for assuring that Town personnel:
(1) 
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list of all records in the possession of the agency.
[Amended 6-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978]
(2) 
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary.
(3) 
Upon locating the records, take one of the following actions:
(a) 
Make records promptly available for inspection.
(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; or
(b) 
Permit the requester to copy those records.
(5) 
Upon request, certify that a transcript is a true copy of records copied.
(6) 
Upon failure to locate records, certify that:
(a) 
The Town is not the legal custodian for such records.
(b) 
The records of which the Town is a legal custodian cannot be found.

§ 360-4 Designation of fiscal officer.

A. 
The Town Board shall designate the Town Controller as fiscal officer. He shall respond to requests for an itemized record setting forth the name, official office address, title and salary of every officer or employee of the Town.
[Amended 6-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978]
B. 
The fiscal officer shall make the payroll items listed above available to any person, including bona fide members of the news media as required under Sections 88(1)(g), (1)(i) and (10) of the Freedom of Information Law.

§ 360-5 Location of records.

The Town hereby designates Town Hall as the location where records shall be available for public inspection and copying.

§ 360-6 Hours for public inspection.

The Town shall accept requests for public access to records and produce records during all hours the Town Hall is regularly open for business.

§ 360-7 Access to records.

Those Town records to which access may be had and those Town records to which access may be denied shall be governed by the provisions of Article 6 of the Public Officers Law of the State of New York (Freedom of Information Law).

§ 360-8 Request for records.

A. 
Where a request for records is required, such request must be in writing. Requests may be made by using the preprinted form “Application for Public Access to Records Per Freedom of Information Law,” a copy of which may be obtained from the Town Clerk, or which can be viewed on-line and downloaded from the official Town of Greenburgh Web site, www.greenburghny.com, under the headings “Documents and Forms” and “Town Clerk.” Alternatively, requests may be made electronically via e-mail or by letter. Any e-mail or letter must contain: (1) the words “Freedom of Information Law Request” or “FOIL Request” either in the subject heading line or in the text; and (2) the requester's name, address and day telephone number. E-mail requests must be transmitted to Foiltownclerk@greenburghny.com. However, a written request shall not be required for records that have been customarily available without written request.
[Amended 8-29-2007 by L.L. No. 11-2007]
B. 
Time limit for response to request.
[Amended 8-29-2007 by L.L. No. 11-2007]
(1) 
A response shall be given within five business days of receipt of a request by:
(a) 
Informing a person requesting records that the request or portion of the request does not reasonably describe the records sought, including direction, to the extent possible, that would enable that person to request records reasonably described;
(b) 
Granting or denying access to records in whole or in part;
(c) 
Acknowledging the receipt of a request in writing, including an approximate date when the request will be granted or denied in whole or in part, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request and shall not be more than 20 business days after the date of the acknowledgment, or, if it is known that circumstances prevent disclosure, within 20 business days from the date of such acknowledgment, providing a statement in writing indicating the reason for inability to grant the request within that time and a date certain, within a reasonable period under the circumstances of the request, when the request will be granted in whole or in part; or
(d) 
If the receipt of request was acknowledged in writing or e-mail and included an approximate date when the request would be granted in whole or in part within 20 business days of such acknowledgment, but circumstances prevent disclosure within that time, providing a statement in writing within 20 business days of such acknowledgment specifying the reason for the inability to do so and a date certain, within a reasonable period under the circumstances of the request, when the request will be granted in whole or in part.
(2) 
In determining a reasonable time for granting or denying a request under the circumstances of a request, personnel shall consider the volume of a request, the ease or difficulty in locating, retrieving or generating records, the complexity of the request, the need to review records to determine the extent to which they must be disclosed, the number of requests received by the agency, and similar factors that bear on the ability to grant access to records promptly and within a reasonable time.
(3) 
A failure to comply with the time limitations described herein shall constitute a denial of a request that may be appealed. Such failure shall include situations in which an officer or employee:
(a) 
Fails to grant access to the records sought, denies access in writing or fails to acknowledge the receipt of a request within five business days of the receipt of a request;
(b) 
Acknowledges the receipt of a request within five business days but fails to furnish an approximate date when the request will be granted or denied in whole or in part;
(c) 
Furnishes an acknowledgment of the receipt of a request within five business days within an approximate date for granting or denying access in whole or in part that is unreasonable under the circumstances of the request;
(d) 
Fails to respond to a request within a reasonable time after the approximate date given or within 20 business days after the date of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request;
(e) 
Determines to grant a request in whole or in part within 20 business days of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request, but fails to do so, unless the Town provides the reason for its inability to do so in writing and a date certain within which the request will be granted in whole or in part;
(f) 
Does not grant a request in whole or in part within 20 business days of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request and fails to provide the reason in writing explaining the inability to do so and a date certain by which the request will be granted in whole or in part; or
(g) 
Responds to a request, stating that more than 20 business days are needed to grant or deny the request in whole or in part and provides a date certain within which that will be accomplished, but such date is unreasonable under the circumstances of the request.
C. 
List of available records.
(1) 
The agency shall maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current list by subject matter of all records in the possession of the agency. The list shall be sufficiently detailed to permit the requester to identify the file category of the record sought.
[Amended 6-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978]
(2) 
The subject matter list shall be updated periodically and the date of the most recent updating shall appear on the first page. The updating of the subject matter list shall not be less than semiannual.
D. 
So that Town personnel can locate records within a reasonable period of time, a request for access to records should be sufficiently detailed to identify the records. Where possible, the requester should supply information regarding dates, titles, file designations or other information which may help identify the records.
E. 
A request for any or all records falling within a specific category shall conform to the standard that records be identifiable.
F. 
No records may be removed by the requester from the office where the record is located without the permission of the records access officer.

§ 360-9 Denial of access.

A. 
The Town Board shall hear appeals for denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law.
B. 
Denial of access shall be in writing, stating the reason therefor and advising the requester of his right to appeal to the Town Board.
C. 
If the agency fails to provide requested records promptly, as required in § 360-8B of this chapter, such failure shall be deemed a denial of access by the agency.
[Amended 6-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978]
D. 
The time for deciding an appeal by the Town Board shall commence upon receipt of a written appeal identifying:
(1) 
The date and location of requests for records.
(2) 
The records to which the requester was denied access.
(3) 
The name and return address of the requester.
E. 
The Town Board shall inform the requester of its decision in writing within seven business days of receipt of an appeal.
[Amended 6-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978]
F. 
The Town Attorney shall transmit to the Committee on Public Access to Records copies of all appeals as well as the determination thereon.
[Added 6-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also redesignated former Subsection F as Subsection G.
G. 
A final denial of access to a requested record, as provided for in Subsection F of this section, shall be subject to court review, as provided for in Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
[Amended 6-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978]

§ 360-10 Fees.

Except where fees or exemptions from fees have been established by law, rule or regulation prior to September 1, 1974:
A. 
There shall be no fee charged for the following:
(1) 
Inspection of records.
(2) 
Search for records.
(3) 
Any certification pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
The agency may charge a fee for copies of records, provided that:
[Amended 6-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978]
(1) 
The fee for copying records shall not exceed $0.25 per page for photocopies not exceeding 8 1/2 inches by 14 inches. This section shall not be construed to mandate the raising of fees where the Town in the past has charged less than $0.25 for such copies.
(2) 
The fee for copies of records not covered by Subsection B(1) of this section shall not exceed the actual copying cost, which is the average unit cost for copying a record, excluding fixed costs of the agency such as operator salaries.

§ 360-11 Public notice.

The Town shall publicize by posting in a conspicuous location wherever records are kept:
A. 
The location where public records shall be made available for inspection and copying.
B. 
The name, title, business address and business telephone number of the designated records access officer and fiscal officer.
C. 
The right to appeal by any requester denied access to a record for whatever reason and the name and business address of the person or persons or body to whom an appeal is to be directed.

§ 360-12 Applicability of provisions; definitions; Police Department records.

[Amended 7-9-1975 by L.L. No. 10-1975]
A. 
This chapter shall be binding upon all elected officers, appointed officers, employees or agency members of the Town as those terms are defined in § 570-3 of the Code of the Town of Greenburgh.
B. 
The words "Town official" and "Town personnel" as used in this chapter shall include elected officers, appointed officers, employees or agency members of the Town as defined above.
C. 
All rules and regulations as set forth herein shall apply to the Police Department of the Town of Greenburgh; however, the Police Department shall have its own records access officer who shall be designated by the Chief of Police, and all Police Department records shall be made available at police headquarters, during all hours that the Police Department Records Division is regularly open for business, for public inspection and copying.
[Amended 6-13-1978 by L.L. No. 13-1978; 2-7-1979 by L.L. No. 2-1979; 12-9-1987 by L.L. No. 7-1987]