FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Raymond K. Mullaly,
against Docket #FIC 89-477
Lebanon Planning and Zoning Commission,
Respondent July 9, 1990
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 23, 1990, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. This matter was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 90-7.
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 of complaint dated December 21, 1989 and filed with the Commission on December 29, 1989, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that:
a. the respondent failed to maintain and make available minutes of its September 13, 1989 public hearing; and
b. the minutes of the respondent's August 9, 1989 regular meeting did not reflect remarks he had made to the respondent concerning open space and driveway location.
3. With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 2.a, above, it is found that the respondent held a public hearing on September 13, 1989 before its regular meeting.
4. It is concluded that the respondent's September 13, 1989 public hearing was a meeting within the meaning of 1-18a(b), G.S.
5. It is found that the complainant requested a copy of the minutes of the September 13, 1989 public hearing by letter dated December 13, 1989.
Docket #FIC 89-477 Page 2
6. It is found that the respondent by letter dated December 16, 1989 instructed the complainant that the only minutes of the September 13, 1989 public hearing consisted of the transcript of the stenographic recording of that hearing, and directed the complainant to request a copy of the transcript from the respondent's stenographer.
7. It is concluded that a transcript of the respondent's September 13, 1989 public hearing would be sufficient to constitute minutes of that meeting.
8. It is found, however, that the transcript of the September 13, 1989 public hearing was not made available for public inspection within seven days of that hearing, and indeed was still not available when the above-captioned matter was heard.
9. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent violated 1-21(a), G.S., by failing to make minutes of its September 13, 1989 public hearing available for public inspection within seven days of that meeting.
10. With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 2.b, above, it is found that the minutes of the respondent's August 9, 1989 meeting do not reflect the complainant's remarks at that meeting.
11. It is concluded, however, that nothing in the Freedom of Information Act requires the respondent to record in its minutes the remarks of all persons.
12. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent did not violate 1-19(a) or 1-21(a), G.S., by failing to reflect the complainant's remarks in its minutes.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The respondent shall, within seven days of the issuance of a final decision in this matter, make available for public inspection minutes of its September 13, 1989 public hearing.
2. The respondent shall henceforth act in strict compliance with the requirements of 1-21(a) regarding the availability of minutes of all meetings, including public hearings, within seven days of the session to which they refer.
Docket #FIC 89-477 Page 3
3. The Commission advises the respondent that, while a transcript of a public hearing will usually satisfy the minutes requirements of 1-19(a) and 1-21(a), G.S., other forms of minutes (such as the form the respondent uses for its regular meetings) may more easily be prepared to meet the seven day requirement imposed by 1-21(a), G.S., and by paragraph 1 of this order. Any such public hearing minutes must reflect, at a minimum, the time, place and date of the public hearing, the identities of agency members present, the business transacted (e.g., the subject or purpose of the public hearing), and the votes, if any, of each member on any issue.
4. That portion of the complaint described in paragraph 2.b of the findings above is dismissed.
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of July 9, 1990.
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 89-477 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:
RAYMOND K. MULLALY
RFD #3, Box #64
West Town Street
Lebanon, CT 06249
LEBANON PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION
c/o Robert J. Cary, Jr., Esq.
Waller, Smith & Palmer, P.C.
52 Eugene O'Neill Drive
P.O. Box 88
New London, CT 06320
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission