At Monday evening’s Town Board meeting, resident David Hangauer commended Town Clerk Johanna Coleman for getting the prefile resolutions on the town’s web site. For the past several weeks Hangauer and other residents have petitioned the town clerk to add the language of the resolutions along with the agenda that would allow the public the opportunity to have full knowledge of resolution content – instead of it being presented in abbreviated agenda item form.
Hangauer then asked Coleman whether it would be possible to get the rest of the packet (that the town board members receive) on the web, namely the full language of the communications. “They do have relevance to the resolutions up for consideration and right now in their abbreviated form they have no relevance. The public would now have full knowledge as to what is to take place at the upcoming meeting and be able to make a determination as to whether there is anything of importance in they're mind that would commit them to attend the meeting.”
“This is problematic, responded Town Clerk Coleman. She declared that scanning documents is not how information is transferred by her office to the county for posting on the town web site. “We would not be able to get them up beforehand. If there is a communication you would like to see, call me and I can have somebody send it to them.”
Supervisor Dino Fudoli interjected that he could have his assistant put the communications on the web site.
Coleman responded that it’s just a matter of staffing and time. “It’s a hustle to get the other stuff on the web site and now to add something would be pretty monumental. Some of the documents we get are big drawings. My predecessor and I have always made those documents available to the public.”
Coleman went on to say that there may be times when she could commit to doing it, here are others when there is too much to transfer. “If you need something, give me a holler. These are public records, your records, and you have access to them. The other stuff can be e-mailed (to the county).”
The writer interjected and declared that the public is happy to have the pre-filed resolutions added to the agenda. As someone who goes to Town Hall or the library to read the communications, I have practiced what Ms. Coleman is saying. But I would ask Mr. Hangauer whether other municipalities put the language of the communications on their web sites. Hanguarer replied that the Town of Cheektowaga does post the language of the communications on their web site.
Supervisor Fudoli again interjected and declared that he would have his assistant scan the language of the communications on Friday and send them to the county to have them appear on the town’s web site prior to the Monday town board meeting.
Hangauer thanked Fudoli for making his request possible.
Residents will now have access to the same packet of information that is provided to the Town Board members and to the media. That is the way it should be.