Monroe County, New York

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Transparency grading process

Monroe County is one of 62 counties in New York.

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of New York county websites

The good

  • Taxes can be viewed/paid online.[1] Tax rates posted.[2]
  • County contracts are available.[3]
  • Form provided to make public records request.[4]
  • Budget is published.[5]
  • County legislators listed with contact information.[6] Meeting schedule posted, but does not have time/place.[7] Meeting agendas posted, but not up to date.[8]
  • County officials listed with contact information in directory.[9]
  • Annual financial report posted.[10]

The bad

Lobbying

Main article: New York government sector lobbying

Monroe County has a registered lobbyist with the New York Public Integrity Commission for 2010.[11]

Public records

The Democrat and Chronicle made a FOIL request for records of work done for the county by Robutrad Corp. The Corp., which was developed by county and local labor officials in the 1980's, supplies skilled tradesmen to the county when needed. Robutrad Corp. had been accused of defrauding taxpayers out of more than $110,000, and the newspaper sought financial records to investigate the matter. Monroe County records access officer Noah M. Lebowitz refused the request saying that as the documents "relate to an ongoing criminal investigation" they are exempt from disclosure. State open records expert Robert Freeman, disagrees, pointing out that "government records created in the 'ordinary course of business,' and not for the purpose of a criminal investigation, are typically considered public."[12]

External links

References