FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Joseph Rysz, Sr.,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 88-21

 

Norwalk Department of Code Enforcement and Norwalk Zoning Board of Appeals,

 

Respondents June 8, 1988

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 29, 1988, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts 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. By letter of complaint dated January 19, 1988 and filed with the Commission on January 21, 1988, the complainant alleged the respondent board failed to file minutes of its January 7, 1988 meeting within seven days, as required by 1-21(a), G.S.

 

3. The respondents claim the minutes of the respondent board's January 7, 1988 meeting were available for public inspection within the time limits set forth in 1-21(a), G.S.

 

4. At the hearing, the respondents requested the imposition of a civil penalty against the complainant.

 

5. It is found that at approximately 11:45 a.m., on January 19, 1988, the complainant requested a copy of the minutes of the respondent board's January 7, 1988 meeting, regarding zoning variance #88-0107-04.

 

6. It is found that at the time of the request, the technical assistant to the Zoning Inspector informed the complainant that the requested minutes would be available at the end of the day and that she would leave him a copy on her desk.

 

Docket #FIC 88-21 Page 2

 

7. It is found the requested minutes were available for public inspection at the respondent department, at approximately 5:00 p.m., on January 19, 1988. The technical assistant to the Zoning Inspector made a copy of them for the complainant before she left the office.

 

8. It is found that after his initial inquiry, the complainant did not attempt to obtain a copy of the requested minutes until February 8, 1988, when he spoke with the Zoning Inspector.

 

9. It is found the complainant received a copy of the requested minutes on February 9, 1988.

 

10. It is found that pursuant to 1-21(a), G.S., a public agency shall make its minutes available for public inspection within seven days of a meeting to which they refer.

 

11. It also is found that pursuant to 1-21(b), G.S., a public agency shall exclude weekends and holidays when determining the time limits for making its minutes available to the public.

 

12. It further is found the requested minutes were available for public inspection within seven days of the respondent board's January 7, 1988 meeting, as required by 1-21(b), G.S.

 

13. It therefore is concluded the requested minutes were available for public inspection in a timely manner and the respondents complied with the requirements of 1-21(a), G.S.

 

14. The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty against the complainant.

 

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.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of June 8, 1988.

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission