FOIL policy yet to be ironed out

by Carol Thompson

How Oswego County legislators will be treated when they need public information continues to be ironed out as members of the Strategic Planning and Government Committee once again postponed the passage of a policy.

At issue is whether legislators should be required to file a Freedom of Information request form and pay for copies of records as the public must.

A draft policy was considered during Monday’s meeting, however, the committee had not concluded how many copies of records would be available before a charge kicks in.

The draft document left blank the number of copies that can be obtained for free and a new clause was added to address the election season.

County Administrator Phil Church said he had spoken with County Attorney Richard Mitchell that morning in regard to payment during the election season.

The legislators would pay for FOIL requests during the season so that there is no advantage over an opponent.

“I have no problem, I think that’s a good change,” Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said.

There has been much discussion this year as to whether legislators should pay for records that are needed in their official capacity and whether they should be required to make a request under FOIL and wait for the records as the public must.

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