Town of North Salem, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of North Salem 5-13-1986 by Res. No. 1986. Sections 175-2A and B, 175-7E, G and H and 175-8C(1) amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 85.
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 from the Town of North Salem.
C. 
Agency 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 § 84 et seq.
D. 
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to the records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.
E. 
Town agencies shall amend existing regulations or adopt new regulations in conformity with these regulations.
A. 
The Town Board is responsible for ensuring uniform compliance with the regulations herein by all agencies of North Salem government and designates the following as records access officers. (The designation of such 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.)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
[2]The Town Board shall appoint the Town Clerk as the records control officer, and all requests must pass through that office and be approved by the Town Clerk first.
(1) 
In addition to the records control officer, there shall be records access officers as follows:
Records
Custodians
Tax records
Tax Assessor or Deputy; Receiv- er of Taxes or Deputy
Highway department records
Superintendent or Secretary
Building department records
Building Inspector or Secretary
Planning Board records
Chairman or Secretary
Board of Appeal records
Chairman or Secretary
Parks and recreation records
Director
Town Attorney records
Town Attorney
Town Board records
Supervisor or Town Clerk
Town Police Records
Chief
Town Court records
Court Clerk
Wetlands permits
Town Clerk
Conservation Advisory Council records
Chairman
(2) 
All requests must be made on forms available in the Town Clerk's office.
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
Records access officers are responsible for assuring that agency personnel:
(1) 
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list.
(2) 
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary.
(3) 
Upon locating the records, take one of the following actions:
(a) 
Make records promptly available for inspection.
(b) 
Deny access to the records in whole or 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 the established fees, if any; or
(b) 
Permit the requester to copy those records.
(5) 
Upon request, certify that a transcript is a true copy of the records copied.
(6) 
Upon failure to locate records, certify that:
(a) 
The particular agency is not the legal custodian for such records; or
(b) 
The records of which the agency is a legal custodian, after a diligent search, cannot be found.
Each agency shall designate the locations where records shall be available for public inspection and copying.
A. 
Each agency shall accept requests for public access to records and produce records during all hours that it is regularly open for business.
B. 
In agencies which do not have daily regular business hours, a written procedure shall be established by which a person may arrange an appointment to inspect and copy records. Such procedure shall include the name, position, address and phone number of the party to be contacted for the purpose of making an appointment.
A. 
An agency may require that a request be made in writing or may make records available upon oral request.
B. 
An agency 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. 
If the agency does not provide or deny access to the record sought within five business days of receipt of a request, the agency shall furnish a written acknowledgment of a receipt of the request and a statement of the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied.
A. 
Each agency shall maintain a reasonably detailed current list by subject matter of all records in its possession, whether or not such records are available pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law.
B. 
The subject matter list shall be sufficiently detailed to permit the 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.
A. 
The following person shall hear appeals for denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law: the Supervisor of the Town of North Salem, Town Hall, Route 116, North Salem, New York 10560, Telephone (914) 669-5110.
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 identified in Subsection A of this section.
C. 
If an agency fails to respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request as required in § 175-5D of this chapter, such failure shall be deemed a denial of access by the agency.
D. 
Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of a denial.
E. 
[1]The time for deciding an appeal by the chief administrative official shall commence upon receipt of a 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.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
F. 
The Supervisor shall transmit to the Committee on Open Government copies of all appeals upon receipt of an appeal. Such copies shall be addressed to:
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
162 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12221
G. 
The chief administrative officer shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Open Government of his determination, in writing, within 10 business days of the 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) of this section.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
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.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Except when a different fee is otherwise prescribed by law:
A. 
There shall be no fee charged for the following:
(1) 
The inspection of records.
(2) 
The search for records.
(3) 
Any certification pursuant to these regulations.
B. 
An agency may provide copies of records without charging a fee.
C. 
An agency may charge a fee for copies of records, provided that:
(1) 
The fee for copying records shall be in accordance with the Standard Schedule of Fees of the Town of North Salem.[1] This section shall not be construed to mandate the raising of fees where agencies in the past have charged less than $0.25 for such copies.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
In agencies which do not have photocopying equipment, 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 C(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.
Each agency shall publicize by posting in a conspicuous location:
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.