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Friday, February 8, 2008

The Days of our Lives...

It's turning into a soap opera...

Back on December 21, 2007, Concerned Citizens FOILed a copy of the New Hartford Teachers Contract after an article appeared in the December 19, 2007 Observer Dispatch regarding the contract being approved by the school board. Shortly thereafter, on January 9, 2008, the Observer Dispatch reported that the New Hartford Employees Union Contract had also been approved. So, we amended our FOIL request to include the employees union contract.

Yesterday, we receive an email from Aurelia Greico, Records Officer at New Hartford Central School saying that the contracts are not available at this time, but they will be forwarded to us as soon as they are available.
On Feb 7, 2008 8:43 AM, Re Greico wrote:

In response to your recent appeal:

1. I have been advised that the contracts in question are presently in the process of being prepared by BOCES. As soon as we have copies ready for distribution you will be notified and we will honor your request.
Still being prepared by BOCES???!!! So, are they telling us that almost two (2) months later no one at the school has a copy of either signed contract? NO ONE??!!! That's almost as bogus as telling us yesterday the school is unable to supply an electronic version of a signed document. Anyone reading this believe that the New Hartford Central School does not have scanning capabilities?

We will post the contracts on our website as soon as they are received from the school...maybe after the school board gets done coaching the town board as to how to run the town, they will have time to track down these signed contracts and see to it that our FOIL requests are honored in compliance with the Freedom of Information Law! Perhaps the town and school should read up on that law:
According to the Committee on Open Government - Explanation of new time limits for response (June 2005):

"...The amendments clearly are intended to prohibit agencies from unnecessarily delaying disclosure. They are not intended to permit agencies to wait until the fifth business day following the receipt of a request and then twenty additional business days to determine rights of access, unless it is reasonable to do so based upon "the circumstances of the request." From my perspective, every law must be implemented in a manner that gives reasonable effect to its intent, and I point out that in its statement of legislative intent, §84 of the Freedom of Information Law states that "it is incumbent upon the state and its localities to extend public accountability wherever and whenever feasible." Therefore, when records are clearly available to the public under the Freedom of Information Law, or if they are readily retrievable, there may be no basis for a delay in disclosure."
Stay tuned...we will have more information on the New Hartford Business Park...


Anonymous said...

seems to me that the N.H. school board has become a committee of the town board.Do they go on retreats together?

Greens and Beans said...

Sometimes I wish I had the artistic ability to draw a cartoon. If I could I believe that one is in order to paint the picture of the two government boards in bed together. You know the old saying “politics makes for strange bed fellow.” Maybe a cartoon having the two government boards in some sort of 60’s “love-in.” Perhaps a cartoon caption illustrating a cross between the old shows of “Hee-Haw” and “Laugh-In.” And add a frame or two depicting a “Wagg the Dog” scenario. This is a classic case to express this type of cartoon folly except for the fact that the reality is that the expensive cost of this ineptitude is bore by the taxpayers.