For months, the Town Clerk has been hiding the fact that she has been spending thousands of dollars in overtime, none of which is budgeted. Sadly, all of it could have been avoided by simply managing the time of her deputy using split shifts when that employee might be needed for a Town Board meeting. But that would require too much work for the town clerk, so she allowed the overtime to be incurred and the Supervisor apparently authorized it as well.
Better yet, the records show the Supervisor is now helping to cover up the expenditures, all of which he claims to be "personally approving" as part of his effort to reduce the towns soaring deficit.
Above is an Overtime Report dated September 24, 2009 which the Town Clerk has been assiduously avoiding releasing despite multiple attempts to secure it under the Freedom of Information Law. It shows the Town Clerk expended $1,779 as of September 30, 2009. Rather than release the report, the Town Clerk with the help of the Supervisor, created a new, fabricated report showing no overtime expended. That fake report is undated and is also posted for you to read by simply scrolling down in the Scribid window above. Our thanks to the elected official who provided the report for our readers.
Ms. Connolly has refused to release the actual overtime report claiming it is "inaccurate". For the record, that's not listed as a legitimate ground for denial of access of public records if you care to read the State's web site on the Freedom of Information Law here.
So while the town Clerk continues to stonewall the Law by releasing the report, we've done her job for her by releasing the record here. Inaccurate, no, embarrassing for Clerk Connolly, you bet.
Here's the FOIL Law section governing records which are exempt from disclosure and the grounds for denial of access should you rather not link to the State website:
2. Each agency shall, in accordance with its published rules, make available for public inspection and copying all records, except that such agency may deny access to records or portions thereof that:
(a) are specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal statute;
(b) if disclosed would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under the provisions of subdivision two of section eighty-nine of this article;
(c) if disclosed would impair present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations;
(d) are trade secrets or are submitted to an agency by a commercial enterprise or derived from information obtained from a commercial enterprise and which if disclosed would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise;
(e) are compiled for law enforcement purposes and which, if disclosed, would:
i. interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings;
ii. deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication;
iii. identify a confidential source or disclose confidential information relating to a criminal investigation; or
iv. reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures;
(f) if disclosed could endanger the life or safety of any person;
(g) are inter-agency or intra-agency materials which are not:
i. statistical or factual tabulations or data;
ii. instructions to staff that affect the public;
iii. final agency policy or determinations; or
iv. external audits, including but not limited to audits performed by the comptroller and the federal government; or
(h) are examination questions or answers which are requested prior to the final administration of such questions;
(i) if disclosed, would jeopardize an agency’s capacity to guarantee the security of its information technology assets, such assets encompassing both electronic information systems and infrastructures; or
(j) are photographs, microphotographs, videotape or other recorded images prepared under authority of section eleven hundred eleven-a of the vehicle and traffic law.