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Village of Wesley Hills, NY
Rockland County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Wesley Hills 3-8-1983 by Res. No. 22-83. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
The people's right to know the process of government decisionmaking and the documents of statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such decisionmaking should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.
B. 
These regulations provide information concerning the procedures by which the records may be obtained.
C. 
Personnel shall furnish to the public the information and records required by the Freedom of Information Act, 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.
A. 
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Wesley Hills is responsible for insuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the following person as records access officer: Village Clerk, with offices at 432 Route 306, Wesley Hills, NY 10952.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
The records access officer is responsible for insuring appropriate agency response to public requests for access to records. The designation of a 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. The records access officer shall insure that personnel:
(1) 
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list;
(2) 
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary, and, when appropriate, indicate the manner in which the records are filed, retrieved or generated to assist persons in reasonably describing records;[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(3) 
Upon locating the records, take one of the following actions:
(a) 
Make records available for inspection; or
(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, in accordance with § 168-8; or
(b) 
Permit the requester to copy these records;
(5) 
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy; and
(6) 
Upon failure to locate these records, certify that:
(a) 
The Village of Wesley Hills is not the custodian for such records; or
(b) 
The records of which the Village of Wesley Hills is a custodian cannot be found after diligent search.
Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at: Village offices, 432 Route 306, Wesley Hills, NY 10952.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Requests for public access to records shall be accepted and records produced during all hours Village Hall is regularly open for business.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
A written request may be required, but oral requests may be accepted when records are readily available.
B. 
If records are maintained on the Internet, the requester shall be informed that the records are accessible via the Internet and in printed form either on paper or other information storage medium.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
A response shall be given within five business days of receipt of a request by:[2]
(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 after the date of the acknowledgment, or, if it is known that circumstances prevent disclosure within 20 business days from the date of such acknowledgment, providing a statement in writing indicating the reason for 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 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.
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
In determining a reasonable time for granting or denying a request under the circumstances of a request, personnel shall consider the volume of a request, the ease or difficulty in locating, retrieving or generating records, the complexity of the request, the need to review records to determine the extent to which they must be disclosed, the number of requests received by the agency, and similar factors that bear on the ability to grant access to records promptly and within a reasonable time.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
E. 
A failure to comply with the time limitations described herein shall constitute a denial of a request that may be appealed. Such failure shall include situations in which an officer or employee:[4]
(1) 
Fails to grant access to the records sought, deny access in writing or acknowledge the receipt of a request within five business days of the receipt of a request;
(2) 
Acknowledges the receipt of a request within five business days but fails to furnish an approximate date when the request will be granted or denied in whole or in part;
(3) 
Furnishes an acknowledgment of the receipt of a request within five business days with an approximate date for granting or denying access in whole or in part that is unreasonable under the circumstances of the request;
(4) 
Fails to respond to a request within a reasonable time after the approximate date given or within 20 business days after the date of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request;
(5) 
Determines to grant a request in whole or in part within 20 business days of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request but fails to do so, unless the agency provides the reason for its inability to do so in writing and a date certain within which the request will be granted in whole or in part;
(6) 
Does not grant a request in whole or in part within 20 business days of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request and fails to provide the reason in writing explaining the inability to do so and a date certain by which the request will be granted in whole or in part; or
(7) 
Responds to a request, stating that more than 20 business days is needed to grant or deny the request in whole or in part and provides a date certain within which that will be accomplished, but such date is unreasonable under the circumstances of the request.
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
The records access officer 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 annually. The most recent update shall appear on the first page of the subject matter list.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
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 body established to hear appeals, who or which shall be identified by name, title, business address and business phone number.
B. 
If the requested records are not provided promptly, as required in § 168-5D of this chapter, such failure shall also be deemed a denial of access.
C. 
The following body shall hear appeals for the denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law: Village Board of the Village of Wesley Hills, 432 Route 306, Wesley Hills, NY 10952, (845) 354-0400.
D. 
The time for deciding an appeal by the body designated to hear appeals shall commence upon the receipt of a written appeal identifying:
(1) 
The date and location of the requests for records;
(2) 
A description, to the extent possible, of the records to which the requester was denied access;
(3) 
Whether the denial of access was in writing or due to failure to provide records promptly as required by § 168-5D; and
(4) 
The name and the address of the requester.
E. 
The body designated to hear appeals shall inform the requester of its decision in writing within 10 business days of the receipt of an appeal. Failure to determine an appeal within said 10 business days by granting access to the records sought or fully explaining the reasons for further denial in writing shall constitute a denial of the appeal.
F. 
The body designated to hear appeals 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
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 650
Albany, NY 12231
G. 
The body designated to hear appeals shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Open Government of its determination in writing within 10 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.
H. 
Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of a denial.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
There shall be no fee charged for:
(1) 
Inspection of records;
(2) 
Search for records; or
(3) 
Any certification pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
Copies of records shall be provided upon payment of a fee as follows:
(1) 
The fee for photocopies not exceeding nine inches by 14 inches is $0.25 per page.
(2) 
The fee for copies of records other than photocopies which are nine inches by 14 inches or less in size shall be the actual copying cost, excluding fixed agency costs such as salaries.
(3) 
An agency has the authority to redact portions of a paper record and does so prior to disclosure of the record by making a photocopy from which the proper redactions are made.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
The fee an agency may charge for a copy of any other record is based on the actual cost of reproduction and may include only the following:[2]
(1) 
An amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare a copy of the requested record, but only when more than two hours of the employee's time is necessary to do so; and
(2) 
The actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; or
(3) 
The actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, and if such service is used to prepare the copy.
[2]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
When an agency has the ability to retrieve or extract a record or data maintained in a computer storage system with reasonable effort, or when doing so requires less employee time than engaging in manual retrieval or redactions from nonelectronic records, the agency shall be required to retrieve or extract such record or data electronically. In such case, the agency may charge a fee in accordance with Subsection C(1) and (2) above.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
E. 
An agency shall inform a person requesting a record of the estimated cost of preparing a copy of the record if more than two hours of an agency employee's time is needed or if it is necessary to retain an outside professional service to prepare a copy of the record.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
F. 
An agency may require that the fee for copying or reproducing a record be paid in advance of the preparation of such copy.[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
G. 
An agency may waive a fee in whole or in part when making copies of records available.[6]
[6]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A notice containing the title or name and business address of the records access officer and appeals body and the location where records can be seen or copied shall be posted in a conspicuous location wherever records are kept and/or published in a local newspaper of general circulation.