[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Lewiston as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-22-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978 (Ch. 15 of the 1965 Code)]
This chapter shall be known as and may be cited as the "Town of Lewiston Town Board Investigatory and Subpoena Power Local Law."
In recent years, local municipal government, including Town government, has been undergoing substantial and continuous expansion and reorganization. Such extreme changes have been occasioned by several factors, a major one being increased federal intervention and mandates in state and local affairs, particularly in matters affecting the environment, economic and job development, revenue sharing, open government administrative procedures and civil rights. New York State, as a result, has also become more sensitive to issues which affect property, affairs and government on a local level and has also imposed regulations and mandates which require local government participation and satisfaction. As a result, local government, specifically Town government in the instant situation, has become increasingly caught up in a myriad of federal and state rules and regulations, thereby increasing the challenges, enlarging the difficulties and taxing the ability of Town government to efficiently and effectively manage Town property, affairs and government. A partial resolution of this present status of Town government can be found in an expansion of Town powers in specific areas, thus equipping Town government with more powerful and effective means of providing governmental services. It is for this purpose that this article granting investigatory and subpoena powers to the Town Board of the Town of Lewiston has been adopted.
This article shall apply to all the territory within the confines of the Town of Lewiston, excepting any incorporated village.
On and after the effective date of this article, the Town Board of the Town of Lewiston shall possess general powers to:
Initiate by resolution and thereafter conduct investigations for the purpose of resolving problems which affect the property, affairs and government of the Town of Lewiston, limited to environmental, economic and health matters.
Issue subpoenas, in form and manner and regulation as described by the New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules, which shall permit the Town Board to compel the attendance of any relevant witnesses at any investigative proceeding and administer oaths to compel their testimony. Said subpoena power shall also compel the production of books and records deemed relevant to the particular investigation. The Town of Lewiston Supervisor is hereby empowered to execute any and all subpoenas.
The Town Board of the Town of Lewiston may, by local law, delegate its investigatory and subpoena powers to any Town of Lewiston board, committee, authority or commission, which has been created by local law and which is directly accountable to the Town Board. Said Town Board, upon any delegation of such powers, shall continually monitor their use to ensure adherence to constitutional and ethical standards and may and shall terminate any investigation and/or invalidate any subpoena issued by any such board, committee, authority or commission, if said Town Board determines such investigation or subpoena to be illegal, improper or unconstitutional.