While we are on the subject of town board meetings, Strikeslip wrote a blog a few days ago, A New Law for a New Year? regarding an update to the Open Meetings Law that was awaiting the signature of Governor Cuomo.
On January 4, 2012, Governor Cuomo signed the legislation mentioned in Strikeslip's blog, [A00072B] and [S 3255-B], into law that will require records, resolutions, laws, or all matters to be discussed at an open meeting by a public body [town board, library board, Oneida County Industrial Development, etc.] to be made available for review by the public prior to or at the meeting.
According to the Democrat and Chronicle, a Gannett Company:
The documents have to be posted online when possible if the agency's website is updated regularly and it uses a high-speed Internet connection.Another online article at The Daily Ossining, state Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale), a sponsor of the bill, said:
There are some exceptions to making records available, such as documents that are submitted late or that would be too expensive or onerous to copy. An example would be a 1,000-page report.
“I think it will enhance public participation and transparency which is extremely important, to make the public confident in their government and to make the governments better.”According to the legislation:
This legislation will actually decrease the burdens imposed on agencies. Making certain records available OR the agency website, or in hard copy at or prior to the meeting, greatly reduces the likelihood of FOIL requests for the records after the meeting is held. Additionally, posting the record on the agency's website imposes no cost to the agency, and eliminates the majority of administrative tasks necessary to process a FOIL request. Such proactive disclosure has been strongly recommended by the Committee on Open Government and comports with the movement toward transparencyThe law takes effect on February 3, 2012.
in government taking place at the state and federal levels.