Rotterdam councilman says records being hidden

Godlewski claims exclusion from town business after FOIL, supervisor disagrees

— A town board member often at odds with the town administration says even after resorting to using the state Freedom of Information Law, he is still without information he needs on town finances.

Councilman Robert Godlewski resorted to filing a FOIL request to Town Clerk Diane Marco on Nov. 15 for documents pertaining to various financial records. Some of them he had asked for at Town Board meetings before the 2013 budget was adopted. Town officials have previously said some of the records he requested didn’t exist.

On Dec. 5, Marco responded to his request in a letter stating “no records subject to FOIL were found in the Comptroller’s Office.” But a few days later, he received a separate letter from Town Comptroller Jacqueline Every addressing the request and providing one of the documents he sought.

Marco on Wednesday, Dec. 12, said she wasn’t aware of the comptroller’s response.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Marco said and directed questions about it to Every, who could not immediately be reached for comment.

Godlewski provided to The Spotlight copies of the correspondence, including the one document he recovered through his FOIL request: a breakdown of the $360,000 in interfund transfers used in this year’s budget. When the budget was passed during the previous administration, Godlewski had questioned the transfers.

The document Every provided though had the date of Sept. 14 on the bottom of it, which Godlewski said proves the document was created prior to his request. He questioned why he was not provided the document after asking for it in the first place, and also why he received two seemingly different answers on its existence from different town offices.

“Their view of open government and transparency is not the same as mine and it is always going to be that way,” Godlewski said. “I usually have a basis for asking for something and I always do it in the open forum.”

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