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Freeman Gives Harrison Lesson in Free Information

HARRISON, N.Y. - Though attendance wasn't as high as expected, current and potential members of the Harrison government took a look in the mirror Wednesday night when open government expert Robert Freeman visited the downtown library.

Freeman was featured in a community forum, which included discussions on the Freedom of Information Law, open meetings and personal privacy protection laws for close to 15 residents.

When answering questions, Freeman gave a thorough history of the issue being addressed, cited specific case law, then applied them to the specifics of the question.

"We try to make life as easy as we possibly can," Freeman said. "FOIL exists to make bad things stop and good things begin."

Freeman was a guest speaker at the 2 Bruce Ave. Harrison Library in an event sponsored by Mayor Joan Walsh, Harrison activist Lucille Held and The Harrison Report. Held received many praises for championing transparency in government throughout her years in Harrison.

"We owe a lot of gratitude to Lucille Held," Freeman said. "All she tries to do, ever, is the right thing."

Harrison political figures in attendance included Walsh, town clerk candidates Frank Corvino and Jackie Greer, town judges Marc Lust and Ronald Bianchi, Deputy Clerk Angela Tamucci and Senior Clerk Diana Minishi.

The intimate setting allowed the government officials to assess their own policies regarding information distribution.

One issue raised involved whether or not the Harrison town clerk's office has to approve FOIL requests through town attorneys, and when it might not be necessary.

Freeman held a similar community forum last July in Mamaroneck in which he educated voters on what documents do and do not fall under FOIL jurisdiction.

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