[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Williston Park at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Public Records Law of the Village of Williston Park, 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 chapter 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 chapter.
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 Williston Park, hereinafter referred to as the "Village Board," shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the Village Clerk as the principal records access officer who shall have the duty of coordinating the village response to public requests for access to records.
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.
The Village Board hereby designates the office of the Village Clerk, located in the Village Hall, 494 Willis Avenue, Williston Park, 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 3 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.
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 fails to respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request as required in § 46-6 of this chapter, 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 Open Government copies of all appeals upon receipt of an appeal. Such copies shall be addressed to:
The Village Board or 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 Open Government 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.