[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wappinger as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Public Access
Article II Retention and Disposition
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.
Such records shall be made available for inspection at the office of the Town official whose department is charged with the custody and keeping thereof or having custody thereof. The Town Clerk shall maintain a record of the official and the address for each department of the Town. The Town Clerk's office is located at Town Hall, Mill Street, Village of Wappingers Falls, Dutchess County, New York. Said official shall be the records access officer of his department and shall have responsibility for administering the provisions of this article. The Town Clerk shall maintain a list of Town departments and the name and business address of the responsible Town official who is the public access officer for that department.
Records of any town official or agency may be requested at the office of the Town Clerk if the request is made in writing and if the request is sufficiently descriptive of the records sought so as to permit the Town official to identify the records sought to be inspected or copied. Upon receiving such request, the Town Clerk shall, within two business days, forward the same to the appropriate Town official, who shall then respond to such request in the manner otherwise prescribed by these rules and regulations. There shall be allowed an additional seven business days to any period provided herein for a response to a request for records to permit transmittal of the request and records to and from the Town Clerk's office.
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 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 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 five days of such request. Such written request shall be on the form prescribed by the Town Board.
The responsibilities of the public access officer shall be to:
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list of records available, to be revised twice annually.
Assist requesters of information in identifying records.
Make final determination for requests.
Provide for reproduction upon payment of fees.
Make records subject to inspection available upon request.
Certify records upon request, upon payment of a fee, or certify that the specified record cannot be found after diligent search or that the official is not the custodian for such records.
Each official may require either oral or written requests for records, and each request, to the extent possible, shall specifically identify the records to which access is sought by the requester.
All requests shall be answered within five business days of the request.
In the event that the official denies access to the records requested or fails to provide access within five days, the official shall provide the requester with a written acknowledgment of the request and the approximate date by which the records will be furnished or a certification that, after diligent search, the record requested cannot be located. Notwithstanding the foregoing, failure to provide access within 10 days of the original request or to provide a certification that the record cannot be located shall be deemed to be a denial that may be appealed.
Any official denying access shall do so in writing within five business days of the request, stating the following:
The Town Supervisor is designated as the appellate body or person to hear and determine a denial of access to public records.
[Amended 5-8-1978; 9-13-1999 BY L.L. No. 6-1999]
All appeals shall be made within 30 days from the date of denial of access, shall be made in writing and shall include the following information:
All appeals shall be transmitted to the appellate person at the Town office. A copy shall be mailed by the appellant to the officer whose determination has been appealed, and said officer may submit a written response within five days by mailing or submitting the same to the appellate person and by mailing or submitting a copy to the appellant.
Procedures upon appellate review. Upon receiving an appeal, the reviewing person or body shall transmit a copy thereof to the Committee on Public Access to Records and shall act upon the same within seven days of receipt. The determination shall be transmitted to the appellant, the officer and the Committee on Public Access to Records.
Any action taken by the appellate person or body is subject to court review as provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
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 reproduction is not possible, records may not be removed, but a summary shall be prepared. The cost of said summary shall be the actual cost of preparation thereof.
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 as set forth in Chapter 122, Article IV, § 122-16B(2) of the Code.
[Amended 3-8-2004 by L.L. No. 4-2004]
An agency or municipality or officer thereof 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 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.
In addition to such requirements as may be imposed by this article, 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.
[Amended 2-25-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002]
Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1, issued by the State Archives and Records Administration, State Education Department, pursuant to § 57.25 of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, and Part 185, Title XIII, of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, and containing minimum retention periods for Town records is adopted for use by the Town Clerk.
[Amended 2-25-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002]
The Town Board authorizes the disposal of records:
The Town Clerk is directed to furnish a certified copy of this article to the Commissioner of Education.