FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Carolyn Massoni,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 89-130

 

Katrina Manley, Recording Secretary and Albert Killen, Jr., Town Council Chairman, of the

Town of Wallingford,

 

Respondents October 11, 1989

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 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 March 29 and 30, 1989, the complainant requested in person that the Wallingford town clerk provide her access to the tape recording of the Wallingford town council's March 28, 1989, meeting. The tapes were not available.

 

3. By letter dated April 10, 1989 and filed with the Commission on April 12, 1989, the complainant appealed to the Commission from the denial of her request and asked for the imposition of a civil penalty.

 

4. It is found that the tape recording is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(e)(d), G.S.

 

5. It is found that at the time of the complainant's request the council's recording secretary had taken the tape recording home to use in preparing the minutes of the meeting and returned it seven days after the meeting when the minutes were filed.

 

6. It is found that there was no copy of the tape recording left in either the town clerk's office or the town council's office.

 

Docket #FIC 89-130 Page Two

 

7. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondents violated 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with prompt access to the tape recording during regular business hours.

 

8. It is further concluded that the respondents violated 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to keep and maintain a public record of the town council in the town offices.

 

9. It is found that sometime after the complaint in this matter was filed the town council purchased an audio tape duplicating machine.

 

10. It is found that the council now maintains all tape recordings of its meetings in its office, accessible to the town clerk and the public.

 

11. It is found that the council now gives a duplicate of the tape recordings of its meetings to its recording secretary to use preparing minutes.

 

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

 

1. The respondents shall attend an educational workshop to be given by a Commission staff attorney within 30 days of the November 7, 1989, general elections. The respondents shall send a written invitation to all town administrative employees and all town officers, both incumbent and newly-elected, to attend the workshop.

 

2. The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty upon the respondents.

 

Docket #FIC 89-130 Page Three

 

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:

CAROLYN MASSONI

41 Hillsview Road

Wallingford, CT 06492

 

KATRINA MANLEY, RECORDING SECRETARY AND ALBERT KILLEN, JR., TOWN COUNCIL CHAIRMAN OF THE TOWN OF WALLINGFORD

c/o Adam Mantzaris, Esquire

Town Attorney

45 South Main Street

Wallingford, CT 06492

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 11, 1989.

 

Tina C. Frappier

Acting Clerk of the Commission