City of Schenectady, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Schenectady 7-20-1981 by Ord. No. 81-85. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 57-1 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. 
These regulations provide information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained.
C. 
Personnel 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 Public Officers Law, Art. 6, § 85 et seq.
D. 
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.

§ 57-2 Designation of records access officer.

A. 
The City Council is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the City Clerk[1] as records access officer.
[1]:
Editor's Note: As to the City Clerk generally, See Ch. 23.
B. 
The records access officer shall be responsible for ensuring appropriate responses to public requests for access to records. The designation of records access officer 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.
C. 
The records access officer shall:
(1) 
Ensure that an up-to-date subject matter list is maintained in his/her office and that it is available.
(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 of the established fees, in accordance with § 57-7; 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 City of Schenectady is not the custodian for such records;
(b) 
The records for which the City of Schenectady is a custodian cannot be found after diligent search; or
(c) 
The records have been destroyed pursuant to the regulations of the State Education Department.
(7) 
Maintain a record of requests for information showing the date, time, name of requester, copies provided, moneys received and action taken upon request.

§ 57-3 Time and place of inspection.

Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at City Hall, Schenectady, New York 12305, during regular business hours. These hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weekdays, September through June, and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., weekdays, July and August.

§ 57-4 Requests for public access to records.

A. 
A written request shall be in writing on the form specified, but oral requests may be accepted when records are readily available.
B. 
A response shall be given regarding 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 rates, file designations or other information that may help to describe the records sought.
D. 
If the records access officer does not provide or deny access to the record sought within five business days of the receipt of a request, he or she shall furnish a written acknowledgment of receipt of the request and a statement of the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied. 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.

§ 57-5 Subject matter list.

A. 
The records access officer shall maintain a reasonably detailed current list, by subject matter, of all records in his/her 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.

§ 57-6 Denial of access to records.

A. 
Denial of access to records shall be in writing, stating the reason therefor and advising the requester of the right to appeal to the individual or body established to hear appeals.
B. 
If requested records are not provided promptly, as required in § 57-4D of these regulations, such failure shall also be deemed a denial of access.
C. 
The Mayor shall hear appeals for denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law. Such appeals shall be addressed to:
Mayor
City Hall
Jay Street
Schenectady, New York 12305
D. 
The time for deciding an appeal by the appeals officer shall commence upon receipt of a written appeal identifying:
(1) 
The date of the appeal.
(2) 
The date and location of the requests for records.
(3) 
The records to which the requester was denied access.
(4) 
Whether the denial of access was in writing or due to failure to provide records promptly, as required by § 57-4D.
(5) 
The name and return address of the requester.
E. 
The appeals officer shall inform the requester of its decision in writing within seven business days of receipt of an appeal.
F. 
The appeals officer shall transmit to the Committee on Public Access to Records copies of all appeals upon receipt of appeals. Such copies shall be addressed to:
Committee on Public Access to Records
Department of State
162 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12231
G. 
The appeals officer 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.

§ 57-7 Fees.

[Amended 6-8-1992 by Ord. No. 92-25]
A. 
The fees for photocopies of records not exceeding nine inches by 14 inches is $0.25 per photocopy or the actual cost of reproducing any other record, except when a different fee is otherwise prescribed by law. The fee for certifying that a record is a true copy is $1.
B. 
Assessment Department Fee Schedules.
(1) 
Property record card data information for commercial use or commercial users.
(a) 
Schedule A.
Assessed Value Fee Non- homestead Class Homestead Class
The first $99,999 $10.00 $5.00
$100,000 to $199,999 $20.00 $5.00
$200,000 to $299,999 $30.00 $10.00
$300,000 to $399,999 $40.00 $10.00
$400,000 to $499,999 $50.00 $10.00
$500,000 to $1,000,000 $100.00 $10.00
(b) 
There shall be a fee of $50 for each $500,000 of assessed value or part of over $1,000,000 of assessed value.
(2) 
The fee for a one-line computer printout on property data shall be the same as Schedule A.
(3) 
Schedule B. There shall be a fee of $2 per parcel for verification of ownership, only on the prescribed form and paid through the City Clerks Office, Room 107, City Hall.
C. 
There shall be allowed as a charge for special processing, including fax transmission or overnight delivery, which charge shall be the sum of $10 or the actual cost of delivery, whichever is greater, in addition to charges for reproduction.
[Added 10-21-1996 by Ord. No. 96-45]

§ 57-8 Public notice.

A notice containing the title or name and business address of the records access officers and appeals person or body and the location where records can be seen or copied shall be posted in a conspicuous location wherever records are kept.