Gronowski Calls for Inspector General’s Preview of City of Yonkers Freedom of Information Law (F.O.I.L.) Compliance

eHezi Archives 21 Comments

Gronowski_Joan Yonkers, NY — Yonkers Third District Councilmember Joan Gronowski is requesting the Inspector General to undertake a review of the City of Yonkers Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests to determine if Yonkers is in compliance with the timely release of information, consistent with FOIL requirements. 

Gronowski stated, “through the years, I have had numerous FOIL requests ignored, received responses beyond the timeframe allowed by FOIL requirements, or, in many cases, was provided with information I did not request, with the City of Yonkers taking the position that my request had been fulfilled. As a member of the Yonkers City Council, constituents who have received similar treatment when submitting valid FOIL requests have contacted me.  Furthermore, department heads are instructed not to communicate or provide vital information to the Council unless the requests are made through the Mayor’s office,”  Gronowski pointed out. . 
Continuing, Gronowski  stated, “If a member of the city council is often unsuccessful in receiving FOIL documents in accordance with state statutes, I can imagine how difficult it is for the general public to have access to this information.” 
Article 6 of the New York State Public Officers Law provides for public access to government records.  This statute, commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), applies to local government entities, and states, in part, that “a free society is maintained when government is responsive and responsible to the public, and when the public is aware of governmental actions. The more open a government is with its citizenry, the greater the understanding and participation of the public in government”.   

The FOIL law further states that, “The people's right to know the process of governmental decision-making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality”, further noting, “that government is the public's business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press, should have access to the records of government in accordance with the provisions of this article”.  

 Gronowski’s request to the Inspector General will be submitted to the Rules Committee which is to reconvene September 1, 2009 at 6:30 PM in Yonkers City Hall, 4th Floor. 
eHeziGronowski Calls for Inspector General’s Preview of City of Yonkers Freedom of Information Law (F.O.I.L.) Compliance

Comments 21

  1. The city looks like sh@#. Roads are in terrible condition, but this piece of crap of a mayor doesn’t give a damn becuase he’s riding around in a taxpayer car and we pay for the repairs.

  2. I didnt know Joan had to go around sweeping the streets…thats supposed to be DPW job. Most of the 3rd is fine, south Yonkers 3rd is, well, South Yonkers and it is in ruin w the rest of the districts down there in…hell. Yonkers is in Hell people, Joan is trying to bring light to the issues that pague the city time after time…
    PBLUES, you must be someone who works in City Hall, probaly simpson or some underling…You are obviouly clueless

  3. to catnmouse…you must have crawled out of the mayor’s house. Check his home out. No wonder the third district looks like garbage.

  4. “joanie” takes care of the third as best as the mayor will honor her requests for service. What don’t you get about a strong mayor form of government?

  5. At the end of the day, this is the only job Zissman could get. I hear he’s been looking for employment since he found out that Amiclown was going to replace him in February. No takers to date. Nobody would hire this loser. He has no resume. Does anyone blame him for trying to hold onto this job?
    I also hear that a–hole Flemming is reaching out to some of Zisman’s former ‘co-workers’ from the days before he landed in Yonkers. Blamicone’s goon. How pathetic.

  6. hey anon at 1:31 am..she is introducing legislation, or haven’t you noticed. Right now she has to work within the confines of what the state law says. Home Rule would be used to change the actual state statute. The point you obviously missed is that Yonkers is not even honoring EXISTING laws and her legislation can bring that out, just like Zisman brought out the car abuse. She has to have six colleagues support this legislation before even attempting to change the state statutes via home rule. And re Zisman, like Yogi Bera said, it’s not over til it’s over. Although, the mayor seems to have excluded three strikes during his tenure. You city hall people have invented a new defination for looking out for the taxpayer – you call it pandering.

  7. Joan
    You pandering…
    You are a bit late
    IG is FIRED.
    Besides, do you REALLY need the IG to tell you what everyone knows; that the Mayor’s Administration violates FOIL constantly. I know you need to grandstand but there is nothing new here. Better you should use your puppet strings to try and make this better through effective legislation. But that takes actual work.

  8. Arch. right on the money my friend.
    How do we start and Impeachment of Mayor process? I really ask this question with all serious.
    Phil has to go before Yonkers is destroyed anymore that has been.

  9. Thank you Joan, Thank you so very much for this long, long overdue undertaking of FOIL which is basically Phil’s interpretation of **** YOU to all citizens…Sorry, not one for gutter language, but it’s just open government under this Mayor has been such a shameful travesty, there is no nice way of saying it…needless to say, Phil is batting one big zero with every FOIL case that has been challenged in court. Zero wins for the administration.
    Arch Stanton

  10. Joan, Keep the good work up. FOIL everything you can as many times as you have to. We just saw how the HUD 108 loans were disbursed and now we need more. For the Gvoernment to have dead ended Yonkers in this “place” we are in and NOT 1 of them is accountable for anything?
    Nothing ever happeneed? where did the money go for? To Whom? and why?
    most importantly, when did the Mayor know??

  11. Gronowski’s right.
    Everything is pulling teeth getting information out of these guys.
    If you have so much trouble telling people what you did, why don’t you not do it at all and save yourself the trouble of having your mistakes exposed.
    If a city council member can’t get information, it’s gotta be like the Gulag in the mayor’s office right now.

  12. Hey Joan….can you also ask the IG to look into the legality of the Lesnick/McDow Real Estate Committee Meetings that are held in “Executive Session”?
    The Open Meetings Law has very limited exceptions for going into Executive Session and it appears that the Real Estate Committee’s extensive use of Executive Sessions is in violation of the Open Meetings Law.
    Any vote ultimately taken by the Real Estate Committee and the City Council WILL BE CHALLENGED IN COURT for such blatant violation of the law.
    Please have the IG look into this too.

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