FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

George Jordanides,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 86-64

 

Board of Police Commissioners and Board of Selectman of the Town of Seymour,

 

Respondents April 23, 1986

 

The above captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 25, 1986, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared and presented testimony 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. On February 27, 1986 the respondent board of police commissioners held a properly noticed special meeting.

 

3. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on March 5, 1986 the complainant alleged that the respondent board of selectmen attended and participated in the February 27, 1986 special meeting without proper notice and agenda in violation of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

4. It is found that the respondent board of selectmen is composed of seven members and that four members constitutes a quorum.

 

5. It is found that Selectman Koskelowski, Selectman King, Selectman Marks, Selectman Rapuano and Selectman Davies were present at the special meeting in question.

 

7. It is further found that although a quorum of the respondent board of selectmen attended the special meeting, none of them planned or intended to meet together in their official capacities as members of the respondent board of selectmen.

 

Docket #FIC 86-64 Page 2

 

7. It is therefore concluded that the named selectmen's attendance at the special meeting did not constitute a meeting of the respondent board of selectmen within the meaning of 1-18a(b), G.S.

 

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

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

2. The Commission notes that although a violation was not found in the present case, the respondent board of selectmen should recognize that in other circumstances, a gathering of a quorum to discuss matters within the board's control, jurisdiction or advisory power may constitute a meeting under 1-18a(b), G.S. Additionally, the respondent board should be sensitive to the fact that observant citizens, such as the complainant, can draw reasonable inferences that such violations did occur under circumstances, as here, where the selectmen also participated in the meeting. To prevent future problems, the respondent board of selectmen may want to post notice when a quorum of the board plans to attend and participate in a meeting of another agency.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of April 23, 1986.

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission