Town of Chautauqua, NY
Chautauqua County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Chautauqua: Art. I, 6-12-1978; Art. II, 4-10-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-12-1978]
A. 
These regulations are established pursuant to Article 6 of the Public Officers Law, known as the "Freedom of Information Law."
B. 
These regulations provide the procedures by which records of the Town of Chautauqua may be obtained for inspection and copies thereof obtained.
C. 
Personnel of the Town of Chautauqua shall furnish to the public the information and records required by the Freedom of Information Law,[1] as well as records otherwise available by Law.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Article 6 of the Public Officers Law.
D. 
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.
A. 
The Town Board and the Supervisor shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and as promulgated by the Committee on Public Access to Records on January 10, 1978, and as may be amended, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law,[1] and shall designate one or more persons as records access officers, by name or by specific job title and business address, who shall have the duty of coordinating agency response to public requests for access to records. The designation of one or more records access officers shall not be construed to prohibit officials who have in the past been authorized to make records or information available to the public from continuing to do so.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Article 6 of the Public Officers Law.
B. 
The records access officer is responsible for assuring that agency personnel:
(1) 
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list.
(2) 
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary.
(3) 
Upon locating the records, take one of the following actions:
(a) 
Make records available for inspection.
(b) 
Deny access to the records, in whole or in part, and explain in writing the reasons therefor.
(4) 
Upon request for copies of records:
(a) 
Make a copy available upon payment or offer to pay established fees, if any; or
(b) 
Permit the requester to copy those records.
(5) 
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy.
(6) 
Upon failure to locate records, certify that:
(a) 
The agency is not the custodian for such records; or
(b) 
The records of which the agency is a custodian cannot be found after diligent search.
Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at the town office in the Community Building, South Erie Street, Mayville, New York, or at the location where they are kept.
A. 
Requests for public access to records shall be accepted, and the records produced, during all hours regularly open for business, except that all records must be returned to their proper custodian at least five minutes before closing time.
B. 
Hours regularly open for business are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
A. 
Where a request for records is required, such request may be oral or in writing as specified by the records access officer. However, written requests shall not be required for records that have been customarily available without written request.
B. 
Response.
(1) 
Except under extraordinary circumstances, officials shall respond to a request for records no more than five business days after receipt of the request, whether the request is oral or in writing.
(2) 
If, because of extraordinary circumstances, more than five business days are required to respond to a request, receipt of of the request shall be acknowledged within five business days after the request is received. The acknowledgment shall state the reason for delay and estimate the date when a reply will be made. If access to records is neither granted nor denied within 10 business days after the date of acknowledgment of receipt of a request, the request may be construed as a denial of access that may be appealed.
C. 
A request for access to records shall reasonably describe the record or records sought. Where possible, the requester should supply information regarding dates, titles, file designations or other information which may help identify the records.
A. 
The Town of Chautauqua shall maintain a reasonably detailed current list, by subject matter, of all records in its possession, whether or not records are available pursuant to Subdivision 2 of § 87 of the Public Officers Law.
B. 
The subject matter list shall be sufficiently detailed to permit identification of the category of the record sought.
C. 
The subject matter list shall be updated not less than twice per year. The most recent update shall appear on the first page of the subject matter list.
D. 
Appropriate personnel of the Town of Chautauqua shall assist the requester in identifying requested records.
A. 
A person who has requested access to the public records of the Town of Chautauqua shall be given full opportunity to see and inspect such records, unless access is denied as provided in § 104-8 herein.
B. 
The requester may also make a copy of the records he inspects, but no record may be removed from the office where it is located.
C. 
Upon request and payment of the established fee, the appropriate officer or employee shall prepare and deliver a photocopy of such records. If the copy is to be mailed, the requester shall furnish a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage thereon.
D. 
Upon request, an appropriate official of the Town of Chautauqua shall certify as correct a photocopy prepared by the custodian of the records.
A. 
The Town Board shall hear appeals regarding denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Article 6 of the Public Officers Law.
B. 
Denial of access shall be in writing, stating the reason therefor and advising the person denied access of his or her rights to appeal to the Town Board, and that body shall be identified by name, title, business address and business telephone number.
C. 
If the Town of Chautauqua fails to respond to a request within five business days of a receipt of a request as required in § 104-5 of these regulations, such failure shall be deemed a denial of access by the Town of Chautauqua.
D. 
Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of a denial.
E. 
The time for deciding an appeal by the Town Board shall commence upon receipt of written appeal identifying:
(1) 
The date and location of a request for records.
(2) 
The records that were denied.
(3) 
The name and return address of the appellant.
F. 
The Town of Chautauqua shall transmit to the Committee on Public Access to Records copies of all appeals upon receipt of an appeal. Such copies shall be addressed to: Committee on Public Access to Records, Department of State, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York, 12231.
G. 
The Town Board shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Public Access to Records of its determination in writing within seven business days of receipt of an appeal. The determination shall be transmitted to the Committee on Public Access to Records in the same manner as set forth in Subsection F of this section.
H. 
A final denial of access to a requested record, as provided in Subsection G of this section, shall be subject to court review as provided for in Article 78 of the Civil Practice and Rules.
Except when a different fee is otherwise prescribed by law:
A. 
There shall be no fee charged for the following:
(1) 
Inspection of records.
(2) 
Search for records.
(3) 
Any certification pursuant to these regulations.
B. 
The fee for a photocopy of records shall be $0.25 per page for pages not exceeding nine by fourteen (9 x 14) inches.
C. 
The fee for copies of records not covered by Subsection B of this section shall be deemed to be the actual reproduction cost, which is the average unit cost for copying a record, excluding fixed costs of the Town of Chautauqua such as operator salaries.
The Town of Chautauqua shall publicize by posting in a conspicuous location:
A. 
The location where records shall be made available for inspection and copying.
B. 
The name, title, business address and business telephone number of the designated records access officer.
C. 
The right to appeal by any person denied access to a record and the name and business address of the body to whom an appeal is to be directed.
[Adopted 4-10-1995]
The Town Clerk is designated as records management officer and shall be responsible for the records management program established by this Article and subsequent amendments thereto. Said officer will be responsible for administering the noncurrent and archival public records for the Town of Chautauqua in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines. Said officer shall also be responsible for overseeing the microfilming of town records according to recognized standards and specification. These functions shall be performed within the budget as allocated by the Town Board.
A. 
The Town Clerk or designee of the Town Clerk 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 Chautauqua.
B. 
The Town Clerk or designee of the Town Clerk shall recommend to the Town Board guidelines for proper records management in any other department or agency of town government in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
C. 
The Town Clerk or designee of the Town Clerk 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 implemented by the Town Clerk or designee.
The Town Clerk shall have at his/her disposal a storage area, room or rooms dedicated specifically for the storage, processing and services of all noncurrent and archival records for all town departments and agencies. The storage area, room or rooms shall be called the "Chautauqua Records Center." The Town Clerk or his/her designee shall operate the Chautauqua Records Center.
The Town Clerk or designee of the Town Clerk shall be the sole official designated in the Public Officer's Certification for Using Records Retention and Disposition Schedules or its successor and shall be the sole officer with authority over the disposition of noncurrent and archival town records and more current records, after receiving approval of the respective town officer or department head who has custody of the records of his/her respective office or department.
A. 
The Chautauqua Town Board is authorized to appoint up to a six-member Records Advisory Board after seeking recommendations from the Town Clerk. It is recommended that if a six-person Records Advisory Board is appointed, it shall be composed of the Town Historian; a representative from the Historical Society; a member of the Town Board; the records management officer for the town; a representative from the Mayville Library; and a representative from the Chautauqua Smith Library.
B. 
The function of this Board shall be to advise and make suggestions to the Town Clerk or his/her designee on improvements to be made to the Chautauqua records management program. The Board shall meet at least twice a year and more so, if needed.
C. 
The Town Clerk or his/her designee shall be responsible for calling all meetings of the Records Advisory Board, making progress reports concerning the records management program to the Records Advisory Board and following up on advice and/or suggestions offered by the Records Advisory Board.
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ARCHIVES
Those official records which have been determined by the records management officer to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the town.
RECORDS
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 established room, rooms and/or area maintained by the Town of Chautauqua 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:
(1) 
The disposal of temporary records by destruction or donation; or
(2) 
The transfer of records to the Records Center for temporary storage of archival records and permanent storage of records determined to have historical or other sufficient value warranting continued preservation.
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 creation, records maintenance and use and records disposition, including records preservation, records disposal and records centers or other storage facilities.
SERVICING
Making information in records available to any county agency for official use or to the public.