The West Jefferson village council, encouraged by Law Director Ron Parsons, will seek to improve its record-keeping procedures in order to satisfy the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The FOIA establishes the public’s right to obtain information from government agencies. The penalty to those agencies for delays in producing requested information can result in fines of up to $100 per day. For this reason, West Jefferson hopes to update its records system.
“I’m going to look into several things,” said Mayor Scott Hockenbery. A digital recording device would allow for easy recording and storage, he said.
In the future, council members and those addressing the council may be required to state their names before speaking to clarify the record.
In other news, West Jefferson will hire an administrative assistant to help cover day-to-day tasks.
“This job is pretty wide open,” said Vice President Ron Garver.
The specifics and salary of the job will be determined after interviewing, selecting, and approving a candidate.
Council also hopes to change the tax and water departments’ business hours by Mar. 3 to accommodate residents who do not work in West Jefferson. The offices will most likely stay open past 4:30 p.m. one to two nights per week.