RULES GOVERNING PUBLIC ACCESS TO MEETINGS OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF GLENVILLE
Section 1. Purpose and Scope:
- The public’s right to witness and observe the governmental decision-making process in ction is fundamental to our system of government. Access to public portions of meetings should be protected and maintained by the Town Board.
- The Town Board adopts these guidelines in order to provide direction concerning the procedures by which public meetings of the Town Board may be photographed, recorded and broadcast.
- While the Town Board currently engages the services of a videographer to produce an audio and video record of Town Board meetings for re-broadcast on public access television and/or the internet, the Town Board recognizes that others may also wish to photograph, record or broadcast its proceedings on a regular or occasional basis.
Section 2. Recording and Broadcasting Public Portions of Meetings:
- The public portion of any meeting may be photographed, recorded and broadcast. Executive Sessions, conducted pursuant to section 105 of the Public Officers Law may not be photographed, recorded or broadcast.
- The Town Board may, from time to time, adopt reasonable rules governing the location of equipment and personnel used to photograph, record or broadcast the public portion of its meetings in order to insure that the use of such equipment does not detract from or interfere with the deliberative process.
- There is no privacy interest in statements made during public portions of meetings of public bodies. Distaste or embarrassment shall not constitute a basis for prohibiting or limiting the photographing, recording or broadcast of those present at a meeting. However, the Town Board reserves the right to rule a person out of order for making vulgar, obscene or distasteful comments, for making personal attacks, or for loud, threatening or violent behavior; these rules apply equally to persons operating equipment used to photograph, record or broadcast Town Board meetings.
Section 3. Rules for Recording and Broadcasting Public Portions of Meetings:
- Operation of equipment to photograph, record or broadcast a meeting is permitted unless it is obtrusive, disruptive, or interferes with the deliberative process or the ability of persons in attendance to observe or listen to the proceedings.
- Use of equipment necessary to photograph, record or broadcast is permitted without notice to or express permission of the Town Board or those in attendance at the meeting. However, the Town Board urges all persons photographing, recording or broadcasting its proceedings to take care not to record the private conversations of members of the public attending meetings and to use discretion in photographing members of the public who do not wish to be photographed.
- Use of equipment necessary to photograph, record or broadcast is permitted in a supervised or unsupervised manner. The Town Board accepts no responsibility for any equipment, supervised or unsupervised.
- The use of special lighting or large equipment necessary to photograph, record or broadcast a meeting shall be permitted on reasonable notice to the Town Clerk, unless such lighting or equipment is obtrusive or disruptive.
- Personnel who operate equipment necessary to photograph, record or broadcast a meeting shall be permitted to move about the room, as long as such movement does not disrupt or interfere with the deliberative process, does not interfere with the ability of those present to see and hear the proceedings and does not interfere with the official recording of the proceedings. However, in no event shall such personnel be permitted behind the dais where the Town Board members sit.
- Use of equipment necessary to photograph, record and/or broadcast a meeting shall not be limited to a location from which such equipment is not reasonably capable of photographing, recording and/or broadcasting. However, locations may be limited to prevent interference with emergency exits, with the public in attendance of with the Town’s videographer.
- Persons operating equipment necessary to photograph, record and/or broadcast shall be given a reasonable opportunity to modify their actions in order to avoid interference with the deliberative process or with those persons in attendance.
Section 4. Public notice:
- These rules governing the operation of equipment necessary to photograph, record or broadcast a meeting shall be posted on the Town Clerk’s bulletin board in Town Hall. Written copies of the rules will be provided upon request, to those in attendance at or who seek to attend a meeting.
Section 5. Severability:
- If any provision of these guidelines or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is adjudged invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not affect or impair the validity of the other provisions of these regulations or the application thereof to other persons and circumstances.
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