FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Sharon R. Gabiga,

 

Complainant,

 

against Docket #FIC 88-127

 

First Selectman and Second Selectman of the Town of Lisbon,

 

Respondents October 12, 1988

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 27, 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 dated April 5, 1988, and filed with the Commission on April 6, 1988, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging the respondents held an unnoticed meeting on March 8, 1988, for which no minutes were filed by March 14, 1988.

 

3. It is found that on March 8, 1988, the respondents and the chairman of the town recycling committee gathered to discuss with Felix Prokop his possible appointment to the recycling committee.

 

4. The respondents claim that the respondent second selectman attended this gathering in his capacity as a member of the recycling committee, that the respondents and the committee chairman are all members of the Democratic Town Committee, and that they discussed only political aspects of appointing Mr. Prokop to the committee.

 

5. It is found that the respondent second selectman is a member of the recycling committee and that the respondents and the recycling committee chairman are members of the Democratic Town Committee.

 

6. Nonetheless it is found that the respondents constitute a quorum of the town board of selectmen.

 

Docket #88-127 Page Two

 

7. It is further found that the appointment of members of the town recycling committee is a matter over which the board of selectmen has jurisdiction.

 

8. It is found that the gathering was not a caucus, as defined by 1-18a(b), G.S., of the Democrats on the board of selectmen since two people who were not Democratic members of the board of selectmen attended.

 

9. It is also found that the gathering was not a political "caucus" of the Lisbon Democratic Town Committee as it was not held under its auspices.

 

10. It is concluded that the discussion was a meeting of the board of selectmen within the meaning of 1-18a(b), G.S.

 

11. It is found that the respondents failed to file notice, an agenda or minutes of the meeting.

 

12. Thus it is concluded that the respondents violated 1-21(a), G.S., by holding a meeting without providing notice, an agenda, or minutes.

 

13. It is found, however, that the minutes of the meeting would not have had to have been filed by March 14, 1988, but within seven days of the meeting, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, as required by 1-21(a) & 1-21(b).

 

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

 

1. The respondents henceforth shall act in strict compliance with 1-21(a), G.S.

 

2. The respondents shall cause the final decision in this case to be read aloud at the first public meeting of the Lisbon board of selectmen held after they receive the notice of that final decision.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of October 12, 1988.

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission