[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie 6-26-1996 by L.L. No. 6-1996; amended in its entirety 4-20-2016 by L.L. No. 11-2016. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Fees — See Ch. 105.
Editor's Note: This local law superseded former Ch. 160, Records, adopted 4-5-1978 by L.L. No. 2-1978 (Part I, Subpart 17, of the 1964 Code).
These rules and regulations are adopted pursuant to Article 6 of the Public Officers Law of the State of New York entitled "Freedom of Information Law" and are adopted in conformity with the law and the rules and regulations promulgated by the Committee on Open Government to ensure that the people's right of access to the information which may form the basis of governmental decisions is not abridged or denied.
The Town Clerk of the Town of Poughkeepsie, with his or her business officer in Town Hall, One Overocker Road Poughkeepsie, New York, whose mailing address is Town Clerk's Office, Town Hall, One Overocker Road, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603, shall have the duty of coordinating the Town's response to public requests for access to records.
For the sole purpose of responding to requests for records of the Police Department, the records access officer shall be the Chief of Police, or his designee, 19 Tucker Drive Poughkeepsie New York 12603.
The duties of the records access officers shall be as set forth in 21 NYCRR 1401, entitled "Public Access to Records," of Chapter XXV of the rules and regulations promulgated by the Committee on Open Government governing access to records of the state and local agencies.
Records shall be available for public inspection and copying as indicated below:
The records of all Town offices, except those of the Police Department, shall be available through the Office of the Town Clerk, Town Hall, One Overocker Road Poughkeepsie New York.
The records of the Police Department shall be available through its offices, 19 Tucker Drive, Poughkeepsie, New York.
The records access officers shall accept requests for public access to records and shall produce records during any regular business day between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. However, this shall not be construed as requiring that a requester be given immediate access to public records. It is not intended to diminish the time requirements for granting access to public records as is set forth in Part 1401 of the Rules and Regulations of the Committee on Open Government as heretofore more specifically designated.
In the event that a request is made for a record kept by an agency of the Town which does not maintain a regular business schedule as with an officially designated citizens advisory committee, then an appointment to inspect and copy any such record shall be arranged at a mutually convenient location for the requesting party and the agency having custody of the requested records. If the requester so desires or a mutually acceptable location cannot be agreed upon, inspection and copying shall take place at the office of the Town Clerk. Such an appointment shall be arranged through the Town Clerk of the Town of Poughkeepsie, whose address is Town Hall, One Overocker Road, Poughkeepsie, New York. All such requests shall be in writing directed to the Legal Department and shall be easily legible.
All requests for records shall be in writing. The request shall reasonably describe the record or records sought and shall, where possible, contain relevant information as to dates, file designations and other information that may help to describe the records sought. These requests shall be submitted to the Town Clerk at his/her offices in Town Hall, One Overocker Road, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603, or for Police Department records to the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department, 19 Tucker Drive, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603.
Subsection A above shall not be construed as prohibiting access to records upon an oral request when the circumstances of the office make such practical, and the request may be so granted without disrupting the functioning of any Town office. However, any failure to demand a written request from any person or series of person or persons shall not be constructed as a waiver of such right.
If the records access officer does not provide or deny access to the record sought within five business days of receipt of a request, said officer shall furnish a written acknowledgement of receipt of the request and a statement of the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied.
The Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie shall hear appeals regarding the denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law.
Any officer denying access to a record shall do so in writing to the requesting party stating the reason therefor and advising the person denied access of his or her right to appeal to the Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie Correspondence, including formal appeals, shall be addressed to the Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie Town Hall, One Overocker Road, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603, directed to the attention of the Town Supervisor. This information is to be contained within the denial statement.
The statement, "Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of a denial," shall also appear on the denial statement. A denial shall be as set forth in Part 1401 of the Rules and Regulations of the Committee on Open Government as more specifically previously designated.
The Town Board shall transmit to the Committee on Open Government copies of all appeals upon receipt of an appeal. Copies shall be addressed to Committee on Open Government, Department of State, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Suite 650, Albany, New York 12231.
The Town Board 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 E above.
A final denial of access to a requested record shall be subject to court review as provided for in Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
The schedule of fees which may be charged for copies of records is available at the Town Clerk's office and on the Town Clerk website: http://www.townofpoughkeepsie.com/clerk.
The public records access officer shall post a copy of these rules and regulations on-the Town Clerk's bulletin board in the Town Hall. In addition, the public records access officer shall post on-the Town Clerk's bulletin board a statement entitled "Public Access to Records of the Town of Poughkeepsie," which will contain the following information.
The location where records shall be made available for inspection and copying as contained in these rules and regulations.
The name title business address and business telephone of the designated records access officer as set forth in these rules and regulations.
A statement that any person denied access to a record may appeal to the Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie, and the Town Board's business address shall be as set forth above.
The records access officer shall be charged with the obligation to compile and update a subject matter list as set forth in Section 1401 of the Rules and Regulations of the Committee on Open Government.