In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


James Wright, Diane Wright and Sandra Cassidento




against Docket #FIC 86-214


Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of New Hartford


Respondent November 18, 1986


The above captioned matter was scheduled for hearing September 4, 1986 at which time the parties appeared and presented evidence 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 filed with the Commission August 4, 1986, the Complainant alleged that on July 23, 1986, the respondent had held an illegal vote on several matters because the voting on those matters occurred after the meeting.


3. It is found that the voting which was alleged to be illegal occurred during the special meeting which was held on July 23, 1986, and that the complainants had mistaken the end of the public hearing portion of the meeting for the end of the meeting.


4. The respondent has requested that the complainants be penalized for filing a frivolous complaint pursuant to 1-21i(b), G.S..


5. It is found under the facts of this case that the imposition of a civil penalty pursuant to 1-21i(b), G.S., would be inappropriate.


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.


#FIC 86-214 page 2


2. The Commission finds regrettable the failure of the complainants to inquire more carefully whether the meeting in question was closed to the public. Such an inquiry would have disclosed that the meeting not closed prior to the conclusion of the votes, and it would have saved all parties the expense and inconvenience of a hearing before the Commission.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of November 18, 1986.



Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission