Protecting the Public’s Interest
In this next segment, I want to talk about three additional provisions found in Article 18. The first provision is dealing with land use disclosure, the second provision dealing with annual financial disclosure, and following, a provision dealing with posting of certain provisions of Article 18.
Starting with the first provision, you will find this in Section 809 of the General Municipal Law, and it requires that every application for variance, change of zoning, or other land use matter disclose the name, resident, nature, and extent of any interest in the application held by a State officer, officer, or employee of a municipality, or officer or employee of a municipality in which a municipality is a part. Unlike Section 803 of the General Municipal Law, which requires disclosure on the part of the municipal officer or employee, Section 809 requires a disclosure be made by either the individual or entity who is making the application to the municipality. Also, the circumstances in which a municipal officer or employee has a conflict of interest within the applicant under Section 809 is broader than the circumstances in which a municipal or employee is deemed to have an interest in a contract under Section 800 Subdivision 3. Finally, a person who knowingly and intentionally violates of Section 809 of the General Municipal Law is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Turning to the next provision, I want to talk about the annual financial disclosure. This requires that counties, cities, towns, and villages with a population of 50,000 or more are required to establish an annual financial disclosure system. Other municipalities may establish such a system but are not required to do so.
Finally, I want to talk about a provision which I believe is one of the least known statutory requirements imposed on local governments. It is required that the CEO of each municipality post certain provisions of Article 18, these are Sections 800 through 809, in each municipal building so that municipal officers or employees can see this. Should you need a copy of these provisions of Article 18, we at the Comptroller’s Office have created a poster which is available and you can contact our office or it is available on our website.