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Town Board Will Change to Comply with New Bill

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor Joan Maybury believes that the town board and other departments in Mount Pleasant will make major changes regarding access to their public meeting information following a bill signed by Governor Cuomo Andrew Tuesday that requires all public bodies of government to post agendas and supporting documents prior to meetings.

The biggest issue of concern for Maybury is making sure agendas are posted in a timely manner.

“With agendas, sometimes there are minor items that are added late, which delays the process of uploading them to the site and we’re going to need to notify our department heads that from now on that will absolutely not happen,” Maybury said.

The law, sponsored by state Assembly member Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale), 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 they are not, the law gives citizens the right to sue the government agency.  The law requires that agendas for public meetings be made available within 24 hours of the scheduled meeting time, and that minutes of the meetings be provided within two weeks after the meeting.

On the current Mount Pleasant Town website, agendas for town board meetings are typically posted on the site the day of the meeting, yet may only appear a few hours before the scheduled start time.  The website also does not feature any minutes from previous board meetings.

Maybury said one problem is reorganizing staff to keep the site updated as it should be.

“Unfortunately due to budget constraints the superintendent and town board secretary staff was reduced to a part time basis, so we’re going to have to organize when the agendas are finalized with when she’s available so that we can get them on the site in a timely manner,” Maybury said.

Town Board meetings and work sessions are held on Tuesday evenings and Maybury said she plans to enforce an agenda deadline on the Thursday before the meeting and that all minutes will be posted following the meeting.

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