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Harrison Clerk Outlines Changes to Sharing Agendas

HARRISON, N.Y. – Adjustments made by the local clerk's office will help make Harrison's open meeting agendas easier to follow, Town Clerk Jacqueline Greer said. The change, made in accordance with a new law requiring governments to post agendas online, was the latest initiative undertaken by the new clerk.

"In effect, this change to the law requires that, within reason, all back up material should be posted on our town website along with the agenda," Greer said. "It will save time, materials, labor and it will help create a greener tint to our operations.”

The law went into effect Feb. 2 and requires that records, resolutions, laws, and all matters to be discussed at open meetings are made available for review by the public at least one day before a meeting. If not, residents will have the right to sue the government agency. Minutes are also required by law to be made public within two weeks of the meeting.

It is a change that Greer said Mayor/Supervisor Ron Belmont supported.

“Mayor Belmont believes that the public has a right to know what the board is doing," Greer said. "He wants to provide our residents with as much information as possible. He just despises wasting resources and manpower.”

Greer said her office had updated requirements for all town departments, private entities, and residents to streamline information being discussed at meetings. Instead of providing the clerk's office with 18 copies of all information to be included in agendas, groups can now digitally submit all information for public view.

The reduction of the government's paper trail cuts as much as 2,400 sheets of paper per agenda item, the clerk said, as some packets could be as much as 200 pages long.

“It is important to stress that the amendment involves an effort to take advantage of today’s information technology, to promote transparency and citizen’s participation in government, and to reduce waste," Greer said.

The clerk's office will be posting this supporting information on the town's website each Friday before a town board meeting after entities submit their items to Agenda@harrison-ny.gov.

“This is great for transparency and should reduce the time we spend on FOIL requests," Greer said.

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