FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Jean M. Sternloff,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 86-52

 

Glastonbury Town Council and the Town of Glastonbury,

 

Respondents April 9, 1986

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 18, 1986, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found:

 

1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. The respondent town council held a regular meeting on January 28, 1986, during which it convened in executive session to discuss the agenda item "Personnel Issues - Wages, Salaries and Benefits."

 

3. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on February 28, 1986 the complainant alleged that the respondent town council's discussion of wages and salaries in executive session violated the Freedom of Information Act.

 

4. It is found that while convened in executive session on January 28, 1986 the respondent discussed a report entitled "Classification and Compensation Study of Secretarial and Clerical Employees, Town of Glastonbury," which report was prepared for the respondent town by John W. Thompson Associates. The report discussed job functions and salary ranges and included comparisons between salaries in the private and public sectors.

 

5.     The respondent town council claims that the report was a preliminary, predecisional report, that a determination was made that the public interest in withholding the report outweighed the public interest in disclosure and that the record

 

Docket #FIC 86-52 Page Two

 

was exempted from disclosure by 1-19(b)(1), G.S. The respondent town council claims that the executive session was therefore proper pursuant to 1-18a(e)(5), G.S.

 

6. It is found that the report in question is not a preliminary draft or note within the meaning of 1-19(b)(1), G.S.

 

7. It is further found that the report is an interagency report comprising part of the process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated within the meaning of 1-19(c), G.S.

 

8. The respondent town council also claims that discussion of the report could have led to the discussion of the job performance of individual town employees, which discussion would have been a proper purpose for an executive session within the meaning of 1-18a(e)(1), G.S.

 

9. It is found that the respondent town council failed to prove that the January 28, 1986 executive session involved the discussion of the appointment, employment, performance, evaluation, health or dismissal of a public officer or employee within the meaning of 1-18a(e)(1). It is noted that any such discussion would have had to have been preceded by notice to the individual that such discussion was proposed for an executive session and the opportunity for such individual to require that all such discussion be held in public.

 

10. It is concluded that the respondent violated 1-21(a), G.S. when it convened in executive session on January 28, 1986 to discuss the study prepared by John W. Thompson Associates.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.

 

1. The respondent town council shall henceforth convene in executive session only for one or more of the proper purposes listed at 1-18a(e), G.S.

 

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 9, 1986.

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission