[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following rules and regulations shall apply to the public inspection and copying of such town records as are subject to public inspection by law and shall continue in effect until altered, changed, amended or superseded by further resolution of this Town Board or by action of the Committee on Public Access to Records established pursuant to Chapters 578, 579 and 580 of the Laws of 1974.
Editor's Note: Chapters 578, 579 and 580 of the Laws of 1974 were repealed by Chapter 933 of the Laws of 1977; see § 84 et seq. of the Public Officers Law.
Such records shall be made available for inspection at the office of the town officer or employee charged with the custody and keeping thereof.
Such records shall be made available for public inspection on regular business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., if readily available. If not readily available, a written request specifically describing records to which access is desired shall be filed with the town officer or employee charged with the custody and keeping thereof, who shall produce the same within 48 hours of such request. Such written request shall be on the form prescribed by the State Comptroller. If the town officer or employee charged with the custody and keeping of the records elects to refuse access, he shall submit to the requester a written statement of his reason therefor within 48 hours of such request.
Copies. The town officer or employee charged with the custody and keeping of the record shall, upon request, make a copy or copies of any record subject to such inspection upon a payment of a fee of $0.25 per page. If a copy or copies are desired thereof by the requester, the town officer or employee charged with the custody and keeping of the record shall make the same and mail or deliver the same to the requester within one week, depending on the volume and number of copies requested.
Certification. Any town officer or employee charged with the custody and keeping of any such record shall, upon request, certify a copy of a document or record prepared pursuant to the provisions of the preceding subsection upon payment of a fee of $1.
To prevent an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the Committee on Public Access to Records may promulgate guidelines for the deletion of identifying details for specified records which are to be made available. In the absence of such guidelines, an agency or municipality may delete identifying details when it makes records available. An unwarranted invasion of personal privacy includes, but shall not be limited to:
Disclosure of such personal matters as may have been reported in confidence to an agency or municipality and which are not relevant or essential to the ordinary work of the agency or municipality.
Disclosure of employment, medical or credit histories or personal references of applicants for employment, except that such records may be disclosed when the applicant has provided a written release permitting such disclosure.
Disclosure of items involving the medical or personal records of a client or patient in a hospital or medical facility.
The sale or release of lists of names and addresses in the possession of any department, if such lists would be used for private, commercial or fund-raising purposes.
Disclosure of items of a personal natural when disclosure would result in economic or personal hardship to the subject party and such records are not relevant or essential to the ordinary work of the department.
Each department shall maintain and make available for public inspection and copying, in conformity with such regulations as may be issued by the Committee on Public Access to Records, a current list, reasonably detailed, by subject matter of any records which shall be produced, filed or first kept or promulgated after the effective date of this chapter. Such list may also provide identifying information as to any records in the possession of the department on or before the effective date of this chapter.
In addition to such requirements as may be imposed by this chapter or by Chapter 578 of the Laws of 1974, each board, commission or other group of the town having more than one member shall maintain and make available for public inspection a record of the final votes of each member in every agency proceeding in which he votes.
Editor's Note: Chapter 578 of the Laws of 1974 was repealed by Chapter 933 of the Laws of 1977; see § 84 et seq. of the Public Officers Law.
[Adopted 1-8-1997 by L.L. No. 1-1997]
There shall be a records management program established under the aegis of the Esopus Town Clerk. The Town Clerk is designated as the Town's Records Management Officer. The officer will be responsible for administering the noncurrent and archival public records and storage areas for the town in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
The Town Records Management 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 officers and departments of the Town of Esopus.
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, such as:
Obsolete and unnecessary records according to New York State Archives Records Retention and Disposition Schedules (MU-1) thereby subject to disposition;
information containing administrative, legal, fiscal, research, historical or educational value which warrant their permanent retention; or
Records not subject to disposition according to State Law.
The Records Management Officer shall establish guidelines for proper records management in any department or agency of town government in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
The Records Management Officer shall report annually to the Town Board on the powers and duties herein mentioned, including, but not limited to, the cost-benefit ratio of programs effectuated by the program.
The Records Management Officer shall oversee all requests for records storage equipment, microfilm equipment, etc., and coordinate and participate in planning for the expansion of micro graphics and automated data processing systems.
The Records Management Officer shall establish an inactive records storage area for the storage, processing and servicing of all noncurrent and archival records for all town departments and agencies.
The Records Management Officer shall perform the following functions with respect to the town:
Advise and assist town departments in reviewing and selecting records to be transferred to the inactive records storage area for storage and/or preservation.
Continually survey and examine public records to determine the most stable 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 such policy does not conflict with any federal or state statutes.
Provide information services to other Town of Esopus offices.
Develop a procedure whereby historically important records are to be identified at the point of generation.
Collect archival materials which are not official Town of Esopus records but which have associated value to the town 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.
A Records Advisory Board shall be designated to provide advice, guidance and support to the records program. Members of the Records Advisory Board shall be in positions of sufficient authority to ensure compliance with records management practices throughout all departments. The Board may consist of the Town Supervisor, the Town Clerk, the Superintendents of Sewer, Water and Highway or Town Historian, a representative from the Justice Court, the Assessor's office and the Tax Office. The Records Advisory Board shall:
Provide advice to the Town Records Management Officer on the development of the records management program.
Review the performance of the program on an ongoing basis and propose changes and improvements.
Review retention periods not covered by the SARA Schedule MU-1 or retention period changes recommended by department heads.
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.
The Records Management Officer shall maintain physical custody and official responsibility of all records in his/her possession. Department heads shall retain constructive control and authority over all department records, regardless of their physical location.
The Town Attorney 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 unless a records disposal form has been executed. Records will not be destroyed if they are required for any pending audit, litigation or other investigation.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Those official records which have been determined by the Records Management Officer and Advisory Committee to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the town.
- INACTIVE RECORDS STORAGE AREA
- An establishment maintained by the town primarily for the storage, serving security and processing of records which must be preserved for varying periods of time and need not be retained in active office space and equipment.
- Any documents, books, papers, photographs, sound recordings, microfilm 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.
- A. The removal by the town, 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:
- B. The transfer of records from one town agency to any other town agency.
- RECORDS MANAGEMENT
- The planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promotion and other managerial activities involved in records maintenance, use and disposition, including records preservation, disposal, records centers or other storage facilities.
- Making information in records available to any town department for official use or to the public.