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Officials Say New Meetings Law Already Followed

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Village and school officials said they will barely be affected by a newly-passed law requiring municipal and school boards to post agendas online before meetings.

“We are doing this already and have been for quite some time,” said Nelly Valentin, district clerk for the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns.

The new law goes into effect on Feb. 2. It requires records, resolutions, laws or all matters to be discussed at an open meeting by a public body to be made available for review by the public. If a public body fails to do this, a suit can be filed.

Under the new law, municipal boards, school boards and other public review boards must make meeting agendas available on the agency's website within 24 hours of the scheduled meeting time. Meeting minutes must be posted within two weeks of the meeting. The law also requires documents discussed at meetings to be posted online, with exemptions for documents that would be too time consuming or expensive to copy.

The law applies to town and village boards, school boards and other public review boards as part of an extension of the Open Meetings Law in Article 7 of the New York State Public Officers Law.

The Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns posts its meeting agendas online http://tufsd.org on the Tuesday before a Thursday Board of Education meeting, Valentin said. Addendums to the agenda are posted late afternoon prior to the meeting.

Tarrytown , Irvington and Sleepy Hollow all feature websites where residents can find meeting agendas and minutes for village boards before the meeting occurs. Tarrytown and Irvington also email agendas and minutes to residents who sign up for notifications .

Elaine Cardea, the district clerk for the Irvington Union Free School District, said the district has always invited the community to come in to review supporting documents when available. Meeting agendas and resolutions are available three days before each meeting on the district's website , she said.

“It is always the intent of the district to be open and share non-confidential matters with the public,” Cardea said.

She also noted the new BoardDocs system that was recently implemented will help provide records and documents to the public.

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