As part of a double reorganizational and regular session on Jan. 6, the Sharon Township supervisors filled the vacant supervisor seat, left by Oswayo Valley School Board President Mitch DeLong.

Jason Snyder was appointed to the position, Secretary Christine Hyde told the Potter-Leader Enterprise. Hyde said Snyder was one of two applicants, the other being Guy Pope.

Neither Snyder, nor Pope were available for comment.

According to a representative at the Potter County Elections board, DeLong won the election for both the Oswayo Valley School Board and Sharon Township supervisor positions in November. By accepting the elected position to the school board, the representative said DeLong had to decline the supervisor position.

The next township meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Feb. 8. Supervisor Gordon Mesler said the public is welcome to attend township meetings and the agenda for each meeting is posted to the township door in advance of the meetings, for the public to review.

Mesler told the Potter Leader-Enterprise that any information not obtained during the meetings must be requested by submitting a Right To Know form and Hyde is not permitted to share information from the meetings without first receiving the RTK request.

This township policy is not stipulated in section 702 of the RTK law, however.

“The RTK (law) does not require a form; agencies can respond to requests informally to save time and resources,” Melissa Melewsky, in-house counsel with Pennsylvania News Media Association said. “If you file a formal, written RTK (law) request, township staff will be required to address it in the context of the law, including a formal legal and administrative process.”

Melewsky said the RTK law is designated to request public records and documents; “It’s not meant to be used as an administrative barrier” between the public and their elected officials. Melewsky said if the meeting is recorded, that the recording is a matter of public record and can be requested in advance of the meeting minutes being approved at the next session.

RTK request forms can be downloaded at www.openrecords.pa.gov under the “Right To Know Law” drop-down menu.

Under the current RTK laws, according to the website, “agencies now have the burden to establish why a record should not be released. Previously, the burden was on a requester to establish why a record was public. The law prohibits an agency from requiring a person to disclose the purpose or motive in requesting access to records. The law (also) states that an agency cannot limit the number of records which may be requested or made available for inspection or duplication.”