Hudson Valley News
2:37 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Dutchess County Clerk Wants Reimbursement for SAFE Act Processing Costs

Opt-out forms received as of March 5, 2013
Credit Office of the Dutchess County Clerk

The Dutchess County clerk has written to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in relation to implementing The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, or SAFE Act. He is asking the state to reimburse Dutchess for the costs affiliated with enacting the legislation.

The matter for Dutchess County Clerk Bradford Kendall is the cost of processing the opt-out forms, whereby pistol permit holders may fill out a form opting out of having their names and addresses publicly disclosed, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. A spokesman for the governor has previously said the forms can be made readily available online, and at no cost to counties. And while the Republican Kendall says the forms are available online in Dutchess, he says the financial burden sets in after the forms are completed.

He says, so far, he has received more than 2,000 requests.

A spokesman for Governor Cuomo issued the following statement in response. Quote, “We do not believe this process should cost nearly this much. We will continue to partner and provide assistance to counties and local officials on implementing this process.” End of quote.

Again, here’s Kendall.

Democratic State Assemblyman Frank Skartados is one of those copied on Kendall’s letter. Skartados, whose district includes the City of Poughkeepsie, says, quote, “the governor has indicated that he is open to changes to the Safe Act that are not central to the legislative intent but would present practical improvements.” Skartados goes on to say that he believes if the problem stated by the Dutchess County Clerk is statewide, then the governor and the legislature would consider offering assistance.

In neighboring Putnam County, Republican Clerk Dennis Sant says any cost affiliated with implementing the opt-out provision has been minimal and will be absorbed, at no cost to county taxpayers.

And he says the opt-out forms are readily available online.

He says he had to a hire a temporary worker to help with the onslaught at the beginning, but, overall, the process is working smoothly.

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