[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt 7-11-1989 as L.L. No. 7-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Those official records which have been determined by the Officer and Advisory Committee to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the local government.
- Any documents, books, papers, photographs, sound recordings, microforms or any other materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official town business.
- RECORDS CENTER
- An establishment maintained by the Town of Cortlandt solely for the storage, servicing, security and processing of records which must be preserved for varying periods of time and need not be retained in office equipment or space.
- RECORDS DISPOSITION
- The removal by the Town of Cortlandt, in accordance with approved records control schedules, of records no longer necessary for the conduct of business by such agency through removal methods which may include:
- A. The disposal of temporary records by destruction or donation.
- B. The transfer of records to the record center/archives for temporary storage of inactive records and permanent storage of records determined to have historical or other sufficient value warranting continued preservation.
- C. The transfer of records from one Town of Cortlandt agency to any other Town of Cortlandt agency.
- RECORDS MANAGEMENT
- The planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promotion and other managerial use of records disposition, including records preservation, records disposal and records centers or other storage facilities.
- Making information in records available to any Town of Cortlandt agency for official use or to the public.
There shall be a records management program established under the aegis of the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt and headed by a Records Management Officer (RMO). The Officer will be responsible for administering the noncurrent and archival public records and storage areas for the Town of Cortlandt in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines, and the RMO may appoint a Records Coordinator to assist in determining the storage needs of the various departments in the town and other criteria needed in order to implement this program.
The Officer shall have all the necessary powers to carry out the efficient administration, determination of value, use, preservation, storage and disposition of the noncurrent and archival public records kept, filed or received by the offices and departments of the Town of Cortlandt.
The Records Management Officer shall continually survey and examine public records to recommend their classification so as to determine the most suitable methods to be used for the maintaining, storing and servicing of archival material. Records to be examined include:
Obsolete and unnecessary records according to New York State Records Retention and Disposition Schedules, thereby subject to disposition;
Information containing administrative, legal, fiscal, research, historical or educational value which warrants its permanent retention; or
Records not subject to disposition according to state law.
The Officer shall establish guidelines for proper records management in any department or agency of the Town of Cortlandt in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
The Officer shall report annually to the chief executive official and the governing body on the powers and duties herein mentioned, including but not limited to the cost/benefit ratio of programs effectuated by the Department.
The Officer shall operate a Records Management Center for the storage, processing and servicing of all noncurrent and archival records for all Town of Cortlandt departments and agencies.
The Officer shall establish a Town of Cortlandt archives and perform the following functions:
Advise and assist the Town of Cortlandt departments in reviewing and selecting material to be transferred to the Town of Cortlandt archives for preservation.
Continually survey and examine public records to determine the most suitable methods to be used for the creating, maintaining, storing and servicing of archival materials.
Establish and maintain an adequate repository for the proper storage, conservation, processing and servicing of archival records.
Promulgate rules governing public access to and use of records in the archives, subject to the approval of the Records Advisory Board.
Develop a confidentiality policy for archival records designated confidential, provided that such policy does not conflict with any federal or state statutes.
Provide information services to other town offices.
Collect archival materials which are not official town records but which have associational value to the Town of Cortlandt or a close relationship to the existing archival collection. Such collecting shall be subject to archive space, staff and cost limitations and to the potential endangerment of such materials if they are not collected by the archives.
Develop a procedure whereby historically important records are to be identified at the point of generation.
There shall be a Records Advisory Board designated to work closely with and provide advice to the Records Management Officer. The Board shall consist of the Supervisor, two (2) Councilmen, the Town Attorney, the Purchasing Director, the Comptroller and the Town Historian. This Board shall meet periodically and have the following duties:
To provide advice to the Records Management Officer on the development of the records management program.
To review the performance of the program on an ongoing basis and propose changes and improvements.
To review retention periods proposed by the Records Management Officer for records not covered by state archives' schedules.
To provide advice on the appraisal of records for archival value and to be the final sign-off entity as to what is or is not archival.
A Town of Cortlandt department is the legal custodian of its records and shall retain custody of records deposited in the records center. Records transferred to or acquired by the archives shall be under the custody and control of the archives rather than the department which created or held them immediately prior to being transferred to the archives.
Records shall be transferred to the archives upon the recommendation of the RMO, with the approval of the head of the department which has custody of the records and the approval of the Records Advisory Board.
Records may be permanently removed from the archives at the request of the RMO or the head of the department which had custody of the records immediately prior to the transfer of those records to the archives, subject to the approval of the Records Advisory Board.
The Legal Department may take steps to recover local government records which have been alienated from proper custody and may, when necessary, institute actions of replevin.
No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by a department of the Town of Cortlandt unless approval has been obtained from the Records Management Officer. No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the Records Management Officer without express written consent of the department head having authority.