A request for information in regard to the duties performed by the Oswego County historian yielded few documents and raised the question as to whether the county legislature must follow state law.
Under the Freedom of Information Law, a request was made for all of the correspondence between County Historian Justin White and other town historians, including hard copies and e-mail as well as annual reports of activity that are required to be filed with both the county legislature and the state.
The county responded to the request by stating that there are no reports available and that no correspondence is maintained.
New York State Arts and Cultural Affairs Law states in regard to county historians, “He or she shall make an annual report, in the month of January, to the local appointing officer or officers and to the state historian of the work which has been accomplished during the preceding year.”
White said he does not file the reports because the legislature does not require him to do so. “It’s not required of me by the county legislature, which is my appointing governing body,” White said. “The county has never required me to file one.”
White holds two positions with the county. He works full-time in the records center and part-time as the county historian. Both are paid positions.
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