[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Central Square as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 3-7-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983 as Ch. 5 of the 1983 Code]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Public Records Law of the Village of Central Square, New York."
The people's right to know the process of government decisionmaking and the documents and statistics leading to determinations can be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.
This article provides information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained from an agency defined by Subdivision 3 of § 86 of the Public Officers Law. No agency regulations shall be more restrictive than this article.
Agency 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.
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.
The Village Board of the Village of Central Square, hereinafter referred to as the "Village Board," shall be responsible for insuring compliance with the regulations herein, and designates the Village Clerk as records access officer who shall have the duty of coordinating the Village response to public requests for access to records. The designation of the Village Clerk 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.
The Village Clerk is responsible for assuring that Village personnel:
Maintain an up to date subject matter list;
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary;
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy; and
The Village Board hereby designates the Office of the Village Clerk, located in the Village Hall, Village Place, Route 49, Central Square, New York as the location where public records shall be available for public inspection and copying.
The Village Clerk shall accept requests for public access to records and produce records during all hours during which the Clerk's Office is regularly open for business.
The Village Clerk may require that a request be made in writing or may make records available upon oral request.
The Village Clerk shall respond to 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 Village Clerk does not provide or deny access to the records sought within five business days of receipt of a request, the Village Clerk 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 Village Clerk 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 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.
The Village Board shall hear appeals or shall designate a person or body to hear appeals regarding denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law.
Denial of access shall be in writing stating the reason therefor and advising the person denied access of his or her right to appeal to the person or body established to hear appeals, and that person or body shall be identified by name, title, business address and business telephone number. The records access officer shall not be the appeals officer.
If the Village Board fails to respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request as required in § 37-6 of this article; such failure shall be deemed a denial of access by the agency.
Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of a denial.
The time for deciding an appeal by the Village Board or the person or body designated to hear appeals shall commence upon receipt of written appeal identifying:
The Village Board shall transmit to the Committee on Public Access to Records copies of all appeals upon receipt of an appeal. Such copies shall be addressed to:
Committee on Public Access to Records
Department of State
162 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12231
Editor's Note: The Committee on Public Access to Records was changed to the Committee on Open Government by L. 1983, c. 80.
The Village Board or the person or body designated to hear appeals shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Public Access to Records of its determination in writing within seven 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 of this section.
Except when a different fee is otherwise prescribed by law:
The Village Clerk may provide copies of records without charging a fee; or
The Village Clerk may charge a fee for copies of records provided that:
The fee for copying records shall not exceed $0.25 per page for photocopies not exceeding nine inches by 14 inches. This section shall not be construed to mandate the raising of fees where agencies in the past have charged less than $0.25 for such copies.
When records are submitted to an agency after January 1, 1982, a request may be made that such information be excepted from disclosure as a trade or commercial secret, under § 87, Subdivision 2(d), of the Public Officers Law. Such information shall be disclosed only as set forth by § 89, Subdivision (5), of the Public Officers Law.
[Adopted 10-27-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
This article is intended to provide maximum service to Village departments/agencies to comply with New York State's Local Government Records Law mandating a comprehensive records management program. Assistance offered by the program covers disposition of all inactive Village records that have met New York State retention dates and assures access to those public records from their creation, active life, retrieval, destruction, reproduction or permanent preservation as mandated by statute, regulation, or guideline for any textual, pictorial, cartographic, audio-visual, or machine-readable record, created or received, and owned by the Village and used to conduct Village business.
The program is coordinated by the Village Clerk, who is designated as the Village Records Management Officer (RMO).
This policy is applicable to all Village departments, agencies, boards or commissions.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACTIVE RECORDS
- Those records which are used on a frequent basis and which must be maintained because the records retention period, as specified by the appropriate Records Retention and Disposition Schedule, has not expired.
- ARCHIVAL RECORDS
- Those records worthy of continuing preservation because of their administrative, legal, fiscal, historical or research purposes.
- CONFIDENTIAL RECORDS
- Records which have the highest level of confidentiality attached to them and which may only be used by a limited number of people in the originating office.
- INACTIVE OR DISPOSABLE RECORDS
- Those records which have temporary value and, in consequence, may be destroyed after the lapse of a specified time, or after the occurrence of some act which renders them valueless.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT RECORD
- Section 57.05 of the Consolidated Arts and Cultural Affairs Law defines a "public record" as any book, paper, map, photograph, microphotograph or other information storage device, regardless of physical form or characteristic, that is the property of the state or any state agency, department, division, board, bureau, commission, county, city, town, Village, district or any subdivision thereof by whatever name designated in or on which any entry has been made or is required to be received for filing. Under this definition, local government records include practically any type of recorded information that local government officials create or receive in the course of their official duties.
- PUBLIC RECORDS
- Publicly distributed information which is available to anyone.
- RECORD SERIES
- Any group of related records which are normally used and filed as a unit and which permit evaluation as a unit for disposition purposes.
- RETENTION AND DISPOSITION SCHEDULE MU-1 (SCHEDULE MU-1)
- The schedule adopted in accordance with Article 57-A of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law.
- A. Those records which are essential to the continuing operation of the Village of Central Square. They contain information that would be needed to resume and continue the operations of the Village after a major disaster such as a fire or flood, to protect the legal and financial interests of the Village and to preserve the rights of the people. Vital records include such records as:
- (1) Minutes.
- (2) Fiscal accounts and accounting records.
- (3) Tax rolls.
- (4) Franchises.
- (5) Maps and surveys.
- (6) Highway and street designations, determinations, and descriptions.
- (7) Deeds/easements.
- (8) Vital statistics and marriage records.
- (9) Records relating to outstanding indebtedness.
- (10) Payrolls and other employee records.
- (11) Insurance policies.
- (12) Policies and procedures.
- (13) Building permits.
- B. Some, but not all, vital records are also archival records. For instance, minutes, deeds/easements, and original maps are archival records and must be retained permanently. Fiscal accounts, employee files, and insurance policies, however, are not archival records. They are vital records because they are essential for operation of the Village, but they lack sufficient administrative, fiscal, or other values to warrant their permanent retention.
Adoption of schedule. 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.
Minimum retention period; criteria for disposal. In accordance with Article 57-A:
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.
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.
Destruction of records.
Authority for destruction: No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by any department of the Village unless approval has been obtained from the RMO and in accordance with the "Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1." All records series must be recorded on an inventory sheet. No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the RMO without the express written consent of the Village department head having authority. Village officers and employees must notify the RMO of their intention to destroy or otherwise dispose of Village records. No destruction shall take place unless an approved retention and disposition schedule exists which covers the records in question. It is the responsibility of the Village department head to coordinate and report the intended destruction of records to the RMO.
Steps in implementing destruction or archival transfer:
Offices must submit notification of intent to the RMO to dispose of or transfer records to the records storage area.
Those record series which require disposition will be listed on the inventory sheet. The sheets will be reviewed by the RMO. Offices will be required to complete the disposal of approved records and to return the completed inventory sheet to the RMO indicating the means by which disposal will be completed and the date disposed of.
Original archival/vital/permanent records shall be placed in acid-free, lignon-free storage boxes, labeled and turned over to the RMO for storage in the vault or records center.
Inactive documents shall be placed in records storage boxes, labeled and turned over to the RMO for temporary storage in the records center.
Active documents shall be filed within each department.
Each department shall complete an update of the inventory of all documents and records stored within their departments, using the inventory worksheets supplied by the RMO.
Each department will annually conduct a purge of its records in accordance with Schedule MU-1.
Under no circumstances shall any records be placed in or removed from the records center without the knowledge and consent of the RMO.
Department heads will be responsible for the implementation of the provisions of this article in their departments as well as for training all new employees within their departments in the provisions found herein.