FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
against Docket #FIC 89-265
Waterbury Development Agency,
Respondent June 13, 1990
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 5, 1989, at which time the complainant and the respondent 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
2. By letter dated May 10, 1989, the complainant requested of the respondent copies of certain records, including the minutes and lists of attendees for "all of the meetings prior to May of 1988 that discussed the development" of certain property located in Waterbury and Naugatuck and owned by the city of Waterbury.
3. By letter dated May 23, 1989, the respondent answered the complainant, in part by indicating that he could find no minutes of the respondent's board of commissioners responsive to the complainant's request.
4. By letter of complainant dated June 21, 1989, postmarked June 23, 1989, and filed with the Commission on June 26, 1989, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that:
a. officials of the respondent and other Waterbury and Naugatuck officials had been meeting regularly since early 1988 to discuss a proposed mall in Waterbury; and
b. the respondent either failed to make minutes of those meetings or failed to provide copies of the minutes;
and requesting the following relief:
Docket #FIC 89-265 Page 2
c. that the requested minutes be provided at no cost;
d. that all actions taken at the meetings for which minutes were unavailable be declared null and void; and
e. that the respondent and other municipal officials be ordered to collect and provide public access to additional information on the subject of the meetings.
5. It is found that the complainant actually sought copies of the minutes of meetings held not by the respondent, but rather by the Waterbury/Naugatuck Joint Venture Steering Committee (the "committee").
6. It is found that the committee was formed by the mayors of Waterbury and Naugatuck for the purpose of reviewing proposals for the development of the property referenced in paragraph 2, above.
7. It is found that the committee worked closely with the executive director and staff of the respondent to research and analyze the development proposals, and utilized the resources of the respondent.
8. It is found that the executive director of the respondent attended the meetings of the committee, and that those meetings were held in the offices of the respondent.
9. It is found that the committee summarized its review of the development proposals and made its recommendations to the mayors of Waterbury and Naugutuck on stationery of the respondent.
10. It is found that the executive director of the respondent kept notes of the committee's meetings, including a list of attendees, and that those notes or minutes were typed by the executive director's secretary.
11. The respondent concedes that at some time after the exchange of letters described in paragraphs 2 and 3, above, the complainant indicated that his request was for minutes of the committee's meetings.
12. It is found that, given the facts outlined in paragraphs 6 through 11, above, the complainant's request as described in paragraph 2, above, and as subsequently clarified to the respondent, is reasonably understood as a request for the minutes of the committee's meetings regarding the development proposals.
Docket #FIC 89-265 Page 3
13. It is concluded that the records described in paragraph 10, above, are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S., which are responsive to the complainant's request for minutes.
14. It is concluded that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide, promptly upon request, copies of the requested minutes of the committee's meetings.
15. With respect to the relief described in paragraph 3.d, above, it is concluded that the committee is not a party to this case, and that the Commission should refrain from issuing any order in this case over its doings.
16. With respect to the relief described in paragraph 3.e, above, the Commission in its discretion declines to order the relief requested.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The respondent shall forthwith provide to the complainant, at no cost to the complainant, copies of the records described in paragraph 10 of the findings above.
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 13, 1990.
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 89-265 Page 4
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
14 Quentin Street
Waterbury, CT 06706
WATERBURY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
c/o Pamela J. Norley, Esquire
Carmody & Torrance
50 Leavenworth Street
Waterbury, CT 06721
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission