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.
Oswego County Sheriff Reuel “Moe” Todd said Wednesday that he expects the county to begin a state pilot program that could ease the maximum capacity issues faced at the Oswego County Public Safety Center.
“It should start within a week or two,” Todd said of the county’s participation in the program.
The state recently began a program called The Orleans Project, which removes “technical violators” of parole from the local jail, placing them in state-run facilities.
The Youth Advocate Program, located at 616 Oneida St., Fulton, is in the business of keeping kids and families together at home.
YAP, an alternative to a placement program, is a contracted service by the Department of Social Services. Families are referred to YAP off the DSS case load and work with a wide range of situations throughout Oswego County.
Most of YAP’s cases are either school-related issues, parenting or the parent-child relationship.
“The county has different things that they can do with kids who are at-risk of residential placement,” said David Canfield, Oswego County director of YAP. “We don’t have the stigma that a lot of times DSS walks in with. DSS recognizes that they don’t have the resources with families that YAP can have. We’re here to work closely with DSS to help them do their jobs better, easier.”