The Southern Ulster Times filed a Freedom Of Information request with the Lloyd Town Clerk to receive a copy of the minutes of the August 4th Water, Sewer & Study Committee meeting only to find that the committee does not take or file any minutes of their monthly meetings.
The failure to keep minutes and file them with the clerk is a violation of the town code and of the NYS Public Officers Law, Article 7 on Open Meetings.
The Town Code, in section 16-1, states that, “The Town Board of the Town of Lloyd hereby adopts the Open Meetings Law, as set forth in Article 7 of the Public Officers Law of the State of New York, and hereby declares that the following procedure shall be followed by the Town Board and all Town commissions and committees in connection with notification of meetings and conduct of meetings.
A key provision of Article 7 in sec. 106 (1), requires that, “Minutes shall be taken at all open meetings of a public body, which shall consist of all motions, proposals, resolutions and any other matter formally voted upon and the vote thereon.”
Access to the minutes is outlined in section 106 (3).
“Minutes of meetings of all public bodies shall be available to the public in accordance with the provisions of the freedom of information law within two weeks from the date of such meeting except that minutes taken pursuant to subdivision two hereof shall be available to the public within one week from the date of the executive session.”
The Water, Sewer & Study Committee’s failure to meet these requirements of town and state laws prevents the public from knowing what the committee is discussing and the media from being able to report on actions and decisions they are making that will have an impact on their lives and upon the town in general.
The Southern Ulster Times has filed another Freedom of Information with the Town Clerk, requesting to view the minutes of all town committees in the interest of governmental transparency and to ensure that all committees are meeting the requirements of the law.