[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of East Hampton 5-18-2017 by 14-2017. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Public Access to Records
Article II Open Meetings
The purpose of these rules and regulations is to provide guidelines for the care, custody, retention, disposition and accessibility of public records of the Town of East Hampton pursuant to Public Officers Law, Article 6, §§ 84 through 90.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PUBLIC RECORDS
- Any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the state legislature, in any physical form whatsoever, including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or discs, rules, regulations or codes.
- Town department agencies, including, but not limited to, any water district, sewage district, drainage district or other special district established by law for any purpose operating for and on behalf of the Town of East Hampton and directly under its jurisdiction.
The Town Clerk shall have custody of all the records, books and papers of the Town. However, since official records of the Town of East Hampton are so vast and since the efficient operation of the Town's daily business requires that official records be maintained in close proximity to where such daily business takes place and since § 146 of the Education Law authorizes the filing and storage of records in the buildings in which they are ordinarily used, the various department heads who have care and custody of official records shall:
Act for and be under the direction of the Town Clerk in all matters concerning records retention, maintenance, filing, disposition and accessibility to the public.
Be held responsible for all laws, rules and regulations imposed upon the Town Clerk as official custodian of the Town records.
Editor's Note: Said § 146 was repealed by L. 1983, c. 876, § 4, eff. 12-31-1983.
Individual department, division or bureau heads shall make available records to the public in compliance with the New York State Freedom of Information Law. The Town Clerk, as the custodian of all the records, books and papers of the Town, shall be the receiver of all requests. The Town Clerk, as the custodian of all the records, books and papers of the Town, can direct any officer, department, division or bureau head or committee chairman as to the proper care, handling and disposition of any and all Town records, books and/or papers. If the request cannot be completed in the allocated five days, the Town Clerk shall send notice to the requestor of such information and provide a reasonable time frame for the completion of the FOIL request.
The Town Attorney shall be the supervising officer for the purpose of any denial to records access pursuant to any request made under the New York State Freedom of Information Law.
All FOIL requests shall be clear and concise and submitted using the form located on the Town of East Hampton's website at http://www.ehamptonny.gov. FOIL requests will be accepted via e-mail, mail, or fax.
The Freedom of Information Law, Public Officers Law, Article 6, §§ 84 through 90, endows the people with the authority to inspect and receive copies of certain records possessed by local governments. As a consequence, the Town Clerk and department heads who have custody of official Town of East Hampton records shall make available for public inspection:
Final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases, for example:
The final administrative decision in a disciplinary proceeding against an employee.
A final decision of the Board of Appeals in deciding an appeal from a Building Department decision.
Statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the Town and any statistical or factual tabulations which led to the formulation of the policy.
Minutes of meetings of the Town Board and of any public hearings.
Final versions of internal or external audits made by or for the Town.
Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect members of the public.
An itemized record setting forth the name, address, title and salary of every officer or employee, compiled by the fiscal officer charged with preparing payrolls. Such records shall be made available for inspection to bona fide members of the news media upon written notice, on Form AC375, a copy of which is attached, in the office of the Town Clerk during regular working hours.
All books of minutes, entry or account and the books, bills, vouchers, checks, contracts or other papers connected with or used or filed in the office of or with any officer, board or commission acting for or on behalf of any town are declared to be public records and shall be open, subject to reasonable regulations to be prescribed by the officer having custody thereof, to the inspection of any taxpayer.
All department heads who have custody of official Town records shall prepare, maintain and make available for public inspection current lists, reasonably detailed by subject matter, of such records.
Each agency and department of the Town shall accept requests for public access to records and produce public records during all hours regularly open for business, which hours are ordinarily 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. In the case of an agency or department which does not have regular business hours, such agency or department shall establish a written procedure by which a person may arrange an appointment to inspect and copy public records.
The Freedom of Information Law provides for the exclusion of certain records or information from records which are made available by the statute in an effort to prevent any unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, such as:
Disclosure of personal matters reported to the Town in confidence which are not relevant or essential to the ordinary work of the Town.
Disclosure of an employment, vital statistics, medical or credit history or personal references of an applicant for employment, unless authorized by the applicant.
The sale or release of lists of names and addresses where it would be used for private, commercial or fund-raising purposes.
Information confidentially disclosed and maintained for the regulation of commercial enterprises, including licensing purposes, if such disclosure would permit an unfair advantage to competitors.
There is no right to remove any record from the office of any Town department, nor may public inspection be exercised at a time and in a manner so as to interfere with the work of any Town office.
All fees shall be paid prior to any review or printing of the FOIL materials requested and is based on an estimate at the time of the initial search. The Town of East Hampton reserves the right to request additional funds at the completion of the FOIL request.
Fees according to the following schedule shall be paid by the public when the Town of East Hampton makes copies of records upon request:
Copies of records up to 8 1/2 inches by 14 inches: $0.25 per copy.
Searching fees. In the event that the request for public records does not indicate such public records in the manner in which such records are maintained in accordance with the law and searching of subsidiary records is required in order to produce such public records an additional fee may be accessed pursuant to Public Officers Law, Article 6, § 87.
The Town Board and the members thereof shall continue to conduct its meetings pursuant to the provisions of the Open Meetings Law as it existed prior to May 31, 1985, the effective date of Chapter 136 of the Laws of 1985.