Town of Kingsbury, NY
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Kingsbury as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees for copies of records — See Ch. 130.
[Adopted 3-13-1978 (Ch. 24, Art. I, of the 1983 Code)]

§ 42-1 Purpose and scope.

A. 
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.
B. 
This article provides information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained from an agency as defined by Subdivision 3 of § 86 of the Public Officers Law.
C. 
Town personnel shall furnish to the public the information and records required by the Freedom of Information Law, as well as records otherwise available by law.
D. 
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.

§ 42-2 Designation of records access officer; responsibilities.

A. 
The Town Board shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein, and designates the Town Clerk as records access officer, who shall have the duty of coordinating 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.
B. 
The records access officer is responsible for assuring that Town personnel:
(1) 
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list.
(2) 
Assist the requestor in identifying requested records, if necessary; contact requestor seeking records when a request is voluminous or when locating the records involves substantial effort, so that Town personnel may ascertain the nature of records of primary interest and attempt to reasonably reduce the volume of records requested.
[Amended 3-20-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(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 Town is not the custodian for such records; or
(b) 
The records of which the Town is a custodian cannot be found after diligent search.

§ 42-3 Location where records may be examined.

Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at the Town Clerk's Office.

§ 42-4 Hours for public inspection.

The records access officer shall accept requests for public access to records and produce records during all hours he is regularly open for business.

§ 42-5 Requests for access to records.

A. 
The Town may require that a request be made in writing or may make records available upon oral request.
B. 
The records access officer shall respond to any request reasonably describing the record or records sought within five business days of receipt of the request.
C. 
A request shall reasonably describe the record or records sought. Whenever possible, a person requesting records should supply information regarding dates, file designations or other information that may help to describe the records sought.
D. 
A response shall be given within five business days of receipt of a request by:
[Amended 3-20-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(1) 
Informing a person requesting records that the request or portion of the request does not reasonably describe the records sought, including direction, to the extent possible, that would enable that person to request records reasonably described;
(2) 
Granting or denying access to records in whole or in part;
(3) 
Acknowledging the receipt of a request in writing, including an approximate date when the request will be granted or denied in whole or in part, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request and shall not be more than 20 business days from the date of such acknowledgment, providing a statement in writing indicating the reason for the inability to grant the request within that time and a date certain, within a reasonable period under the circumstances of the request, when the request will be granted in whole or in part; or
(4) 
If the receipt of request was acknowledged in writing and included an approximate date when the request would be granted in whole or in part within 20 business days of such acknowledgment, but the circumstances prevent disclosure within that time, providing a statement in writing within 20 business days of such acknowledgment specifying the reason for the inability to do so and a date certain, within a reasonable period under the circumstances of the request, when the request will be granted in whole or in part.
E. 
A failure to comply with the time limitations described herein shall constitute a denial or a request that may be appealed.
[Added 3-20-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]

§ 42-6 Listing of subject matter.

A. 
The Town 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.

§ 42-7 Denial of access; appeals.

A. 
The Town Board shall hear appeals or shall designate a person or body to hear appeals regarding denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law.
B. 
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.
C. 
If the records access officer fails to respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request as required in § 42-5D of this article, such failure shall be deemed a denial of access by the Town.
D. 
Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of a denial.
E. 
The time for deciding an appeal by the individual or body designated to hear appeals 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 records access officer shall transmit to the Committee on Open Government copies of all appeals upon receipt of appeals. Such copies shall be addressed to: Committee on Open Government, Department of State, 41 State Street, Albany, New York 12231.
[Amended 3-20-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
G. 
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.
[Amended 3-20-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(1) 
Failure to determine an appeal within seven business days of its receipt by granting access to the records sought or fully explaining the reasons for further denial in writing shall constitute a denial of the appeal.
(2) 
The determination shall be transmitted to the Committee on Open Government 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 for in Subsection G of this section, shall be subject to court review, as provided for in Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

§ 42-8 Inspection and transcription of records.

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 this article.
B. 
The records access officer will charge a fee for copies of records, provided that:
(1) 
The fee for copying records shall not exceed the amount established in Chapter 130, Fees, per page for photocopies not exceeding nine inches by 14 inches.
[Amended 12-28-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983]
(2) 
If the Town cannot photocopy the record, a transcript of the requested records shall be made upon request. Such transcripts may either be typed or handwritten. In such cases, the person requesting records may be charged for the clerical time involved in making the transcript.
(3) 
The fee for copies of records not covered by Subsection B(1) and (2) of this section shall not exceed the actual reproduction cost, which is the average unit cost for copying a record, excluding fixed costs of the agency such as operator salaries.

§ 42-9 Publication requirements.

The Town Clerk shall publicize by posting in a conspicuous location and/or by publication in a local newspaper of general circulation:
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 person or body to whom an appeal is to be directed.
[Adopted 12-10-1990 by L.L. No. 7-1990 (Ch. 24, Art. II, of the 1983 Code)]

§ 42-10 Establishment of program; designation of officer.

A. 
There shall be a records management program established under the aegis of and headed by a records management officer (RMO). The recordkeeping officer will be the Town Clerk of the Town of Kingsbury unless otherwise designated. The officer will be responsible for administering the noncurrent and archival public records and storage areas for the local government in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
B. 
There are numerous choices for placement of the records management/archives program within the local government structure. One option is to name an existing officer as RMO, such as the County Clerk or the director of a central services agency. The wording may also include an option for this officer to appoint a designee.

§ 42-11 Powers and duties of officer.

The 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 offices and departments of the local government.
A. 
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 the following archival material:
(1) 
Obsolete and unnecessary records according to New York State Records Retention and Disposition Schedules thereby subject to disposition.
(2) 
Information containing administrative, legal, fiscal, research, historical or educational value which warrants its permanent retention.
(3) 
Records not subject to disposition according to state law.
B. 
The officer shall establish guidelines for proper records management in any department or agency of the local government in accordance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
C. 
The officer shall report annually to the chief executive official and the governing body on the powers and duties herein mentioned, including but not limited to the cost/benefit ratio of programs effectuated by the department.
D. 
The officer shall operate a records management center for the storage, processing and servicing of all noncurrent and archival records for all local government departments and agencies.
E. 
The officer shall establish a local government archives and perform the following functions:
(1) 
Advise and assist local government departments in reviewing and selecting material to be transferred to the local government archives for preservation.
(2) 
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.
(3) 
Establish and maintain an adequate repository for the proper storage, conservation, processing and servicing of archival records.
(4) 
Promulgate rules governing public access to and use of records in the archives, subject to the approval of the Records Advisory Board.
(5) 
Develop a confidentiality policy for archival records designated confidential provided that such policy does not conflict with any federal or state statutes.
(6) 
Provide information services to other local government offices.
(7) 
Collect archival materials which are not official local government records but which have associational value to the local government or a close relationship to the existing archival collection. Such collection 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.
(8) 
Develop a procedure whereby historically important records are to be identified at the point of generation.

§ 42-12 Records Advisory Board.

There shall be a Records Advisory Board designated to work closely with and provide advice to the records management officer. The Board shall consist of the Town Board of the Town of Kingsbury. The Board shall meet periodically and have the following duties:
A. 
To provide advice to the records management officer on the development of the records management program.
B. 
To review the performance of the program on an ongoing basis and propose changes and improvements.
C. 
To review retention periods proposed by the records management officer for records not covered by the state archives' schedules.
D. 
To 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.

§ 42-13 Custody; transferals.

A. 
A local government department 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 which created or held them immediately prior to being transferred to the archives.
B. 
Records shall be transferred to the archives upon the recommendation of the RMO, with the approval of the head of the department which has custody of the records and the approval of the Records Advisory Board.
C. 
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.

§ 42-14 Replevin.

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.

§ 42-15 Disposal of records.

No records shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by a department of the local government 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.

§ 42-16 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ARCHIVES
Those official records which have been determined by the officer and advisory committee to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the local government.
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 local government business.
RECORDS CENTER
An establishment maintained by the local government 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 local government, 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.
(2) 
The transfer of records to the record center/archives for temporary storage of inactive records and permanent storage of records determined to have historical or other sufficient value warranting continued preservation.
B. 
The transfer of records from one local government agency to any other local government 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.
SERVICING
Making information in records available to any local government agency for official use or to the public.