In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Scott Vining, Jr.,




against Docket #FIC 86-132


Enfield Town Council,


Respondent July 1, 1986


The above captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 3, 1986, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.


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


1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


2. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on May 16, 1986 the complainant alleged that the respondent at its April 29, 1986 meeting required the public to sign their names and addresses on a sign-up sheet in violation of 1-21, G.S.


3. It is found that the respondent held a public hearing on April 29, 1986 on its proposed budget for the fiscal year 1986-1987 and that all persons presenting testimony at the hearing in question were asked to register with the town clerk their names and addresses and that each speaker was told that he or she would have no more than five minutes to speak.


4. The respondent claims that the registering requirement was an organizational tool to assure that the public's participation was conducted in an orderly fashion. The respondent further stated that members of the public who were there only to observe the hearing were not required to register with the town clerk.


5. It is found that no member of the public was required to register with the town clerk as a condition precedent to attending the budget hearing on April 29, 1986.


Docket #FIC 86-132 Page 2


6. It is therefore concluded that the respondent violated no provision of the Freedom of Information Act by requiring those members of the public who were going to speak at the budget hearing in question to register with the town clerk.


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 declines to impose a civil penalty against the complainant as requested by the respondent.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 25, 1986.


Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission