According to Mid-Hudson News,
ALBANY – A bill signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in November of 2021 requires all local governments to post the minutes of meetings on the government’s website no more than 14 days after the meeting. A recent investigation shows that many local governments are not complying with the law.
Until the new law was signed, the state’s Open Meetings Law did not require that meeting minutes be posted online. Under the new law, that went into effect on November 8, 2021, government bodies with a regularly updated website must post meeting minutes online within 14 days of the meeting.
The amended law exempts local governments from the requirement if they post videos of the meetings. The exemption, in part, says “unabridged video recordings or unabridged audio recordings or unabridged written transcripts may be deemed to be meeting minutes.” A review of videos from random local governments indicates that some governments do not read aloud communications, including filed “notices of claims”, precursors to a lawsuit involving the local government, into the meeting video, making the contents of the filed claims unavailable in a timely fashion.
Many local governments do not make minutes available to the public until after they are formally adopted at the next meeting, in many instances the minutes are not available until the following month.
A July 2020 study by the New York Coalition for Open Government assessed how local governments comply with the Open Meetings Law and whether meeting minutes are posted in a timely fashion.
The City of Kingston was one of the local governments assessed in the report. The report indicated that, at the time, the city was slow to make minutes available. Kingston indicated that a new agenda and minutes software program was being introduced. The new system is running and has been criticized because meeting minutes are not listed by date, making it difficult to locate records. The new page for Kingston Common Council minutes can be found here.