[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Neversink: Art. I, 1-8-1975; Art. II, 1-13-1993 as L.L. No. 2-1993. Section 34-10E amended during codification; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Public Access to Records
Article II Records Management
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town records as are subject to public inspection by law and shall continue in effect until altered, changed, amended or superseded by further resolution of this Town Board or by action of the Committee on Public Access to Records, established pursuant to Chapter 578, 579 and 580 of the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Editor's Note: Chapters 578, 579 and 580 of the Laws of 1974 were repealed by Chapter 993 of the Laws of 1977, which Chapter 933 also enacted a new Freedom of Information Law, See Article 6 of the Public Officer Law.
The Town Clerk shall be and is hereby designated the town officer charged with the custody and dissemination of the town records available for public inspection herein.
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, 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. Each request shall be sufficiently detailed to identify the records. Where possible, the requester shall supply information regarding dates, titles, file designations or other information which may help identify the records. A request for any or all records falling within a specific category shall conform to the standard that records be identifiable. If the town officer or employee charged with the custody and keeping of the record elects to refuse access, he shall submit to the requester a written statement of his reason therefor within 48 hours of such request.
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.
If, for any reason, more than one week is required to produce records, the records access officer shall acknowledge receipt of the request within one week after the request is received, which acknowledgment shall include a brief explanation of the reason for delay and an estimate of the date production or denial will be forthcoming.
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 subsections upon payment of a fee of $0.25.
To prevent an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the Town Board or 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 the town 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, board 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 nature 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 Town Board or 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 Article. 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 Article.
In addition to such requirements as may be imposed by this Article 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, which Chapter 933 also enacted a new Freedom of Information Law. See Article 6 of the Public Officers Law.
No records may be removed by the requester from the office where the record is located without the permission of the Town Clerk.
Appeals from a denial of access to information by the Town Clerk may be taken, in writing, on approved forms, to the member of the Town Board designated to hear such appeals, subject to the following rules:
Such appeal must be filed with the Town Clerk within five days after a denial of access to information.
The Town Board member shall inform the requester of his decision, in writing, within seven days of receipt of an appeal.
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 Supervisor is hereby designated to hear such appeals.
[Amended 2-8-1984 by L.L. No. 3-1984]
The Town Supervisor or his designee shall prescribe a standard form or forms to be employed by an applicant seeking access to town records or appealing from a denial of such application.
[Adopted 1-13-1993 as L.L. No. 2-1993]
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following definitions shall, for the purpose of this Article, have the meanings herein indicated. Any pertinent word or term not a part of this listing shall be construed to have its legal definition.
- Those official records which have been determined by the officer and the Advisory Committee to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the town.
- Any document, books, papers, photograph, sound recordings, microforms or any other materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to local law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official town business.
- RECORDS CENTER
- An establishment maintained by the town primarily 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.
- 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 use and records disposition, including records preservation, records disposal and records centers or other storage facilities.
- Making information in records available to any town agency for official use or to the public.
There shall be a records management program established under aegis of the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk shall serve as the town's records management officer (RMO). The RMO 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 RMO 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.
The RMO 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. Classifications shall be as follows:
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 warrant their permanent retention;
Records not subject to disposition according to state law.
The RMO shall establish guidelines for proper records management in any department or agency of the town in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
The RMO shall report annually to the chief executive official and the governing body on the powers and duties herein mentioned, including not limited to the cost/benefit ratio of programs effectuated by the department.
The RMO shall operate a records management center for the storage processing and servicing of all noncurrent and archival records for all town departments and agencies.
The RMO shall establish a town archives and perform the following functions:
Advise and assist town departments in reviewing and selecting material to be transferred to the town 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 Town 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 departments, agencies or offices.
Collect archival materials which are not official town records but which have associational value to the town or a close relationship to the existing archival collection. Such collecting shall be subject to archive space, staff and cast 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.
The Town Board is hereby designated as the Records Advisory Board designated to work closely with and to provide advice to the RMO. The Town Board, acting as the Records Advisory Board, shall meet periodically and have the following duties:
Provide advice to the RMO on the development of the records management program.
Review the performance of the program on an ongoing basis and to propose changes and improvements.
Review retention periods proposed by the RMO for records no covered by state archives schedules.
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 department or agency 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 or agency 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 or agency 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 Neversink 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 the express written consent of the department head having authority.
This Article shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.