[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Dedham as Ch. 7 of the 1996 By-laws; amended 11-18-2013 STM by Art. 16. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Town meetings — See Ch. 85.
All officers, boards and committees of the Town shall cause records of their doings and accounts to be kept in suitable books, and all multiple member bodies shall maintain accurate records of its meetings, said records to be filed with the Town Clerk and made available to the public. Said books shall be kept in their respective places in the Town offices and the libraries, and shall not be removed therefrom. Said books shall, unless otherwise provided by law, be open to public inspection at any reasonable time, but shall remain during such inspection under the supervision of the officer, board or committee having custody thereof.
The Director of Finance shall keep among the records of his office the following:
A detailed register of all insurance policies and surety bonds held by the Town which shall show the property covered by insurance, the names under bond, the names of the companies involved, the amount, expiration date and premium of each bond and policy;
A detailed record of the Town indebtedness which shall show the objects for which such indebtedness was incurred, the date incurred, the date of maturity, the rate of interest thereon and the provisions for payment thereof.
[Amended 11-17-2014 ATM by Art. 18]
All officers, boards, departments and committees of the Town authorized to spend money shall annually report thereon in writing in such manner as to give the citizens a fair understanding of the objects and methods of such expenditures, referring, however, to the report of the Director of Finance for detailed statements of receipts and expenditures. Such report shall be submitted, through the Town Manager, to the Selectmen no later than 10 days after the close of each year for inclusion in the Annual Town Report, and a copy thereof shall be submitted to the Finance Director.
The report of the Treasurer-Collector shall include a classified statement of the Town indebtedness and business for which it was incurred, shall specifically state the objects for which such indebtedness may have been increased during the preceding year, a statement indicating the amounts required for the payment of interest on the Town debt and for the payment of such portions of the Town debt as may become due during the succeeding year; and shall also set forth:
A list of all notes issued during the year and the purposes for which the money was borrowed, giving the dates, amount, term, rate of interest, time of maturity, the premium, if any received thereon, and the names of the parties from whom the funds were borrowed;
A list of all notes paid during the year and a list of all outstanding notes with the dates upon which they will mature;
A full exhibit of all monies, properties and securities which may be placed in his charge by virtue of any statute or by-law or by virtue of any gift, devise, bequest or deposit;
A statement of any amount received by the Town from sources other than taxation during the preceding year.
The Director of Finance shall, immediately after the close of each financial year, prepare a detailed report of all receipts and expenditures of the Town during the financial year next preceding, showing separately payments made from the proceeds of loans as outlays for capital improvements, including those of the funds managed for the Town by trustees or commissioners and showing also the amount of each specific appropriation and expenditures there from, the purposes for which expenditures have been made, a statement of any change in the amount of the Town debt, and a statement of all indebtedness incurred and not paid at the end of the financial year next preceding.
[Amended 11-17-2014 ATM by Art. 18]
The Selectmen shall each year cause to be printed as a Town document an Annual Town Report for the fiscal year next preceding. The Annual Town Report shall contain the annual reports of the Selectmen, the Finance and Warrant Committee, the School Committee, the Treasurer-Collector, the Director of Finance and of all officers, boards and committees of the Town required by these by-laws and a list of the salaries of all Town employees; statements of all funds belonging to the Town or held for the benefit of its inhabitants; a statement of the liabilities of the Town on bonds, notes, certificates of indebtedness or otherwise and all indebtedness authorized but not incurred and the purposes thereof; a statement of transfers made to or from any appropriation; a copy of the auditor's report of the annual audit of the Town's financial books and records, including the financial statement and management letter; abstracts of the records of the meetings of the Town held since publication of the last Annual Town Report; a specific statement of Town or County ways laid out during the preceding year; a statement of what ways laid out or accepted remain to be constructed; statement of damages assessed against and paid by the Town during the preceding year; a statement of all outstanding claims against the Town; a statement of what actions have been brought against and on behalf of the Town, what cases have been compromised or settled and the current status of all suits at law involving the Town or any of its interests; and such other matters as the said report is required by law to contain or may be inserted by the Selectmen under the discretion granted them by law.
The Selectmen of the Town shall direct that the by-laws and standing votes of the Town, the rules or regulations adopted by any officer, board or committee of the Town, and each decennial assessors' evaluation list be printed separately or as a part of the Annual Town Report.
The Selectmen shall, subject to appropriation, cause a reasonable number of copies of the Annual Town Report to be printed and made available for distribution to the taxpayers of the Town; further, to the extent technologically feasible, the Annual Town Report shall be posted on the official Town website.
All written or printed reports required by these by-laws shall be filed with the Town Clerk and so preserved by the Town Clerk in suitable files readily accessible to citizens of the Town at all reasonable times.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town that the inhabitants of the Town have retained certain rights of privacy in the use and dissemination of public records and that to safeguard those rights this section has been adopted. No person employed by the Town or performing services for the Town shall use or disseminate or allow access to any information collected, acquired or created in the performance of official, contractual or volunteer duties except for the purpose for which the information was collected, acquired or created or for a purpose expressly provided for by law; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall infringe or impair public access to nor otherwise alter the status of any public record nor allow or require the public disclosure of any information which is not a public record; provided, further, that if the Board of Selectmen, after a public hearing, finds that the public purpose clearly outweighs the inhabitant's privacy interests, the Board may grant to the holder of the records a waiver for a specific use, limited in scope and time, and for such purpose may require that information contained in the records be made available only in the aggregate and with full anonymity of individual records and may make such other conditions as will protect the privacy interests of the inhabitants of the Town.