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LPCS board gets Open Meetings Law lesson

Boards must provide public access to meeting material

Attorney Doug Gerhardt gives the Lake Placid Central School Board a lesson on the Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Law during the Feb. 21 meeting.

Attorney Doug Gerhardt gives the Lake Placid Central School Board a lesson on the Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Law during the Feb. 21 meeting. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— The change to the Open Meetings Law centers around two types of records:

1) those that are required to be made available pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL);

2) and proposed resolutions, law, rules, regulations, policies or amendments thereto.

When these records are scheduled to be discussed, they must be made available to the public “to the extent practicable, either prior to or at the meeting.”

In order to comply with the amendment, copies of records must be made available to the public “prior to or at the meeting for a reasonable fee or by posting them online prior to the meeting,” according to the Committee on Open Government.

The Committee also defines which boards are required to put this material on their websites:

“If the agency in which a public body functions (i.e., a state department, a county, city, town, village or school district) ‘maintains a regularly and routinely updated website and utilizes a high speed internet connection,’ the records described above that are scheduled to be discussed in public ‘shall be posted on the website to the extent practicable as determined by the agency.’”

The state recommends that agencies put their materials online to save costs associated with requests made under FOIL.

LPCS Doug Gerhardt

Attorney Doug Gerhardt gives the Lake Placid Central School Board a lesson on the Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Law during the Feb. 21 meeting.

Photo by Andy Flynn

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