[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Mamaroneck as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Public Access to Records
[Adopted 2-5-1975; amended in its entirety 3-1-1978 (Ch. 63 of 1975 Code)]
The people's right to know the process of government decisionmaking and the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.
These regulations provide information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained from a department or agency, as defined by Subdivision 3 of § 86 of the Public Officers Law.
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.
The Supervisor of the town is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the following person as records access officer:
The records access officer (Town Clerk) will receive all applications and is responsible for directing requests to the appropriate department head. Officials who have been authorized customarily to make information or records available may be approached directly.
The Town Clerk shall assure that department heads:
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list.
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary.
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy.
Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at:
Requests for public access to records shall be accepted and records produced on regular business days at the town offices.
Where a request for records is required, such request may be oral or in writing. However, written requests shall not be required for records that have been customarily available without written request.
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.
If, because of extraordinary circumstances, more than five business days are required to respond to a request, receipt 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.
A request for access to records should be sufficiently detailed to identify the records. Where possible, the requester should supply information regarding dates, file designations or other information which may help identify the records sought.
Origination and updating of list.
A current list, by subject matter, of all records produced, filed or first kept or promulgated after September 1, 1974, shall be available for public inspection and copying. The list shall be sufficiently detailed to permit the requester to identify the file category of the records sought.
Editor's Note: A list of records available for public inspection, originally attached to the resolution adopting this Article, is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
The subject matter list shall be updated periodically, and the date of the most recent updating shall appear on the first page. The updating of the subject matter list shall not be less than semiannual.
No records may be removed by the requester from the office where the record is located. If the requested record cannot be copied in the office and must be sent out for copying, the department head must make the necessary arrangements.
Denial of access shall be in writing stating the reason therefor and advising the person denied access of his or her right to appeal to the person or body established to hear appeals, and that person or body shall be identified by name, title, business address and business telephone number. The records access officer shall not be the appeals officer.
If an agency fails to respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request as required, such failure shall be deemed a denial of access by the agency.
Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of a denial.
The agency shall transmit to the Committee on Open Government copies of all appeals upon receipt of an appeal. Such copies shall be addressed to:
[Amended 7-17-1996 by L.L. No. 14-1996]
The person or body designated to hear appeals shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Open Government of its determination, in writing, within seven 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 F of this section.
[Amended 7-17-1996 by L.L. No. 14-1996]
Maps, plans or other records. In instances where the town cannot reproduce the requested material, the department head or his designee will make all necessary arrangements but all service reproduction and mailing charges shall be paid by the requester directly to the company that does the work.
A notice containing the job title or name and business address of the records access officer, the name, job title, business address and telephone number of the appeal person or body and the location where records are available for viewing and copying shall be posted in a conspicuous location wherever records are kept and/or published in a local newspaper of general circulation.