Public Records Access Officer

Records Access Officers

As of January 1, 2017, municipalities are required to designate 1 or more Records Access Officer. The Records Access Officer for the Town of Belmont is the Town Clerk, Ellen O'Brien Cushman. 

The duties of the Records Access Officer are:

  • Coordinate the Town's response to requests for access to public records;
  • Assist individuals seeking public records in identifying the records requested;
  • Assist the custodian of records in preserving public records; and
  • By July 1, 2017, Prepare guidelines that enable requestors to make informed requests

For detailed information about accessing Belmont’s public records, please see

Belmont’s Public Records Access Guidelines that are effective in 2017

These guidelines include detailed information on the following topics:

  • General Information
  • Making Public Records Requests
  • Responses to Public Records Requests
  • Categories of Records, by Town department
  • Exemptions
  • Fees
  • Appeals

Response Time

Beginning January 1, 2017, requested records must be available within 10 business days following receipt of the request. Records Access Officers may petition the Supervisor of Records for an extension if they are unable to grant access to the requested public records in this time period.

Under the new version of the law, public records must be made available to a requestor in an electronic format unless the record is not available in an electronic format or the requestor does not have the ability to receive or access the records in a useable electronic format.


Black and white paper copies or computer printouts of public records for both single and double-sided 8.5x11" sheets are 5 cents per page. Oversized or color copies may have a higher cost.

Beginning January 1, 2017, if a response to a public records request requires more than 2 hours of employee time, a municipal Records Access Officer may assess a fee of the hourly rate of the lowest paid employee with the skills necessary to search for, compile, segregate, redact or reproduce a requested record. However, the fee shall not exceed $25 an hour, unless approved by the Supervisor of Records.

Staff Contacts

Name Title Phone
Ellen O'Brien Cushman, Town Clerk Records Access Officer (617) 993-2600