FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
Stephen J. Link,
against Docket #FIC 89-81
Easton First Selectman and Easton Board of Selectmen,
Respondents September 27, 1989
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 14, 1989, 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 and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of §1-18a(a), G.S.
2. On February 23, 1989 at 5:20 p.m., the respondent board of selectmen met with the town's bond counsel.
3. That same day at 7:00 p.m. the Easton board of finance held a special meeting, and at 7:15 p.m. the respondent board of selectmen held a special meeting.
4. By letter dated March 2, 1989, and filed with the Commission on March 6, 1989, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging the 5:20 p.m. meeting of the selectmen was an unnoticed meeting held in violation of the Freedom of Information Act.
5. The respondents claim the 5:20 p.m. meeting was an emergency meeting for which no notice was required.
6. It is found that when the three selectmen met with the town bond counsel at 5:20 p.m. the only topic they discussed was how to word the notice and agenda for the March 7, 1989, town meeting on a controversial local issue.
7. It is concluded that, under the circumstances of this case, the discussion was a communication limited to the notice and agenda of the meeting of a public agency and, therefore, was not a meeting under §1-18a(b), G.S.
Docket #FIC 89-81 Page Two
The following order of the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The complaint is hereby dismissed without prejudice.
2. Although not the focus of the complaint, the Commission notes that the attendance of all three selectmen at the board of finance meeting may have constituted a meeting of the board of selectmen, too, and, therefore, should have been noticed and recorded as such.
PURSUANT TO 4-180(c) C.G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE F.O.I.C., OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
STEPHEN J. LINK, P.O. Box 317, Easton, CT 06612
EASTON FIRST SELECTMEN AND EASTON BOARD OF SELECTMEN, c/o Michael P. A. Williams, Esq., Marsh, Day & Calhoun, 955 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 27, 1989.
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission