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No Change for New Castle in Wake of New Law

NEW CASTLE, N.Y. - While other local governments may be adapting to a new law that requires agendas for government meetings to be posted online at least a day in advance, it will be business as usual for New Castle's town and school boards.

Currently, agendas for the town board, zoning board, planning board and school board are among those that are already posted online prior to the meetings.

"I've always found that it benefits New Castle to get the board agenda out a few days early so people know what's going on and they have the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns," said Council member Jason Chapin.

The law 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.

Town and village boards, school boards and any other public review boards will be subject to the law. 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. 

"It seems odd that the law wasn't passed long ago as part of the Open Meeting Laws," said Chapin of the bill, which is an extension of the Open Meetings Law in Article 7 of the New York State Public Officers Law. It was passed by the Assembly and Senate in June and will go into effect on February 2.

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