Division of Cemeteries - Opinions on photographs, ADA compliance, & more

Christopher Philippo filed this request with the Department of State of New York.
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From: Christopher Philippo

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York State Freedom of Information Law (1977 N.Y. Laws ch. 933), I hereby request the following records:

Records of Opinions regarding: (1) cemeteries under the supervision of the state's Cemetery Board enacting cemetery rules and/or regulations strictly prohibiting all photography or videography unless prior permission of the cemetery association has been granted (2) the NY Department of State Division of Cemeteries failing to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and instead posting a notice such as "Please note that not all documentation included on this page is ADA compliant" without making subsequent effort to bring the documentation into compliance with the ADA http://www.dos.ny.gov/cmty/openmeetingdocs/index.html (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6KMrytIXO ) (3) the NY Department of State Division of Cemeteries not posting agendas, meetings, reports, etc. in a timely fashion (e.g. the last agenda posted at http://www.dos.ny.gov/cmty/openmeetingdocs/index.html as of October 14, 2013) is for February 2013) (4) members of the NY Department of State's Division of Cemeteries receiving awards, meals, accommodations, travel expenses, speaking fees, or the like from cemetery officials or associations (5) exceptions to the general exemption of municipal, religious, family and private cemeteries from being regulated by the Cemetery Board; "There are approximately 6000 cemeteries in New York State. In addition to the 1900+ cemeteries regulated by the Cemetery Board, the remaining 4000+ cemeteries are municipal, religious, family and private cemeteries, and are generally not subject to regulation by the Cemetery Board or the Department of State" http://www.dos.ny.gov/cnsl/cemreg.html (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6KMwtPgSH ) implies there are exceptions, but doesn't state what they are. An e-mail dated May 8, 2013 1:06:45 PM EDT with the subject line "General Municipal Law 148 (2); Div of Cemeteries & religious cemeteries?" that was sent to Richard Fishman had asked what the exceptions are, but the question when unanswered.
other sorts of things.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Christopher Philippo

From: Department of State

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Department of State

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 15, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Wilbard, Helen (DOS)

October 21, 2013

Mr. Christopher Philippo
MuckRock News
Dept MR7877
P O Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Dear Mr. Philippo:

This is in regard to your October 15, 2013 Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) inquiry concerning:

1) cemeteries under the supervision of the State's Cemeteries Board enacting cemetery rules and/or regulations strictly prohibiting all photography or video, unless permission of the cemetery association, has been granted;

2) NYS Department of State Division of Cemeteries failing to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

3) NYS Department of State Division of Cemeteries not postings agendas, meetings, reports, etc in a timely fashion;

4) members of the NYS Department of State Division of Cemeteries receiving awards, meals, accommodations, travel expenses, speaking fees, or the like from cemetery officials or associations;

5) Exceptions to the general exemption of municipal, religious, family and private cemeteries from being regulated by the Cemetery Board.

Your request is currently being reviewed and we will be in further contact within twenty business days. At that time, your request will either be granted or denied, in whole or in part, or you will be given a date that records responsive to your request will be made available for inspection or copying.

Sincerely,

Helen Wilbard

Helen Wilbard
Assistant Records Access Officer

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From: Wilbard, Helen (DOS)

November 20, 2013

Mr. Christopher Philippo
MuckRock News
Dept MR7877
P O Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Dear Mr. Philippo:

This is in regard to your October 15, 2013 Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) inquiry concerning numerous Division of Cemeteries issues. To the extent that your inquiry seeks documents and records, we have searched our records and no responsive documents or records exist. To the extent that your inquiry asks for answers to certain questions, please note that FOIL is only intended to be a method for obtaining documents and records and is not a method for obtaining answers to questions or for seeking that a new document or record be created..

If you feel that documents or records do exist but have been withheld, then pursuant to Public Officers Law § 89 (4), you have thirty (30) calendar days to appeal of this determination, which must be made by writing to: Nina E. DiSalvo, Counsel to the Secretary, NYS Department of State, One Commerce Plaza 11th Floor, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12231-0001.

Sincerely,

Helen Wilbard

Helen Wilbard
Assistant Records Access Officer

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