Tag Archives: Strategic Planning and Government Committee

Committee postpones FOIL policy

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee took no action on adopting a new Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) policy until more information is gathered.

Legislators said last month that they wanted to seek the opinion of Robert Freeman, the executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government prior to adopting a policy.

During Thursday’s meeting, Legislature Clerk Wendy Falls said she had contacted Freeman and he suggested contacting the New York State Association of Counties because the issue relates more to policy than Freedom of Information law.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler asked if NYSCA would have more of a benchmark type of policy.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

County legislators to continue drafting FOIL policy

by Carol Thompson

When the Oswego County Legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee meets today, an update will be given on a draft policy regarding how the county deals with requests made under the Freedom of Information Law.

The committee has been seeking to get a clearer picture as to how requests from legislators are handled.

Currently, legislators must make a FOIL request just as the public must. The legislators are not charged for records, but have said that sometimes they have to wait to receive information that they may need to perform their job duties.

The matter of a new policy was tabled during last month’s meeting so that Robert Freeman, who serves as the executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government, could review the proposal.

A majority of the records held by Oswego County are public, but the wait for those records can be lengthy. That’s another issue the committee has addressed in the past and is expected to address once again.

The primary issue is whether legislators should be required to file a written request for records that are a part of their duties in serving the public.

Many of the committee members said they do not have a problem paying for copies of records they need to perform their jobs and those that may be needed for other reasons, however, they questioned the necessity of the written request and the waiting period.

At the last meeting, Legislator Shawn Doyle noted that he had to make a written request for a contract that the legislature was expected to vote on and not only had he not seen the contract prior to his request, but that he had to wait to receive it.

 To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

Oswego County legislators consider giving support to full casino gaming

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature will consider a resolution in support of full casino gaming when lawmakers meets tonight.

The resolution would be sent to state officials, who are considering a change to the state constitution to allow gaming at New York State facilities.

During last month’s meeting of the legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee, representatives of the Western New York Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation made a presentation on the benefits of gambling.

Continue reading

OswegoCountySeal_WEB

Other counties don’t require legislators to fill out FOILs

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County legislators are required to make a written request for the documents that they are the legal custodians of — and it has sparked a debate as to whether they should be exempt from having to follow the same procedure as the public in acquiring records.

In other counties around the state, legislators have access to records without written requests or wait.

The requests, known more commonly as a FOIL request, the acronym for Freedom of Information Law, are required to obtain public documents from government agencies.  Requests can be made in writing by e-mail, hard copy or by using a form provided by the agency.

Continue reading

OswegoCountySeal_WEB

Oswego County legislators seek probe into leak

by Carol Thompson

New information was provided during Monday’s meeting of the Oswego County Legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee regarding an ethics complaint that was reportedly leaked to the press.

Last year, a complaint was filed by former legislature chairman Barry Leemann against Legislator Shawn Doyle. Doyle said he was contacted by a reporter prior to being notified that a complaint was filed against him.

Doyle added that he immediately contacted County Attorney Richard Mitchell and inquired who might have tipped off the press. Mitchell, Doyle said, told him that the packets had yet to leave his office when he contacted him within five minutes of his call from the reporter.

Continue reading