FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Beverly Nalette,

 

Complainant,

 

against Docket #FIC 91-15

 

Winsted Board of Selectmen,

 

Respondent September 25, 1991

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 22, 1991, 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 of complaint received January 17, 1991, and mailed January 11, 1991, the complainant alleged violations of the Freedom of Information Act with respect to two meetings of the respondent:

 

a) that the respondents improperly met without proper notice and an agenda as a personnel search committee to consider the appointment of a Town Manager on December 17, 1991; and

 

b) that the respondents met illegally on January 3, 1991, because the selectmen were not properly noticed at their "usual place of abode," as required by 1-21; G.S., and

 

c) that there were additional violations of law at the January 3, 1991 meeting in that it was a meeting of group described as a subcommittee; in that there was no reason requiring a special meeting on January 3, 1991; and because the respondent violated certain provisions of the town charter.

 

3. It is found that the respondent did meet on December 17, 1990, after appointing itself as a search committee in the middle of a regularly scheduled meeting to consider the appointment of a town manager.

 

#FIC 91-15 Page 2

 

4. It is found that the agenda for the December 17, 1991 meeting made no mention of the consideration of the appointment of a town manager by a search committee.

 

5. It is concluded, however, that the respondent did not violate the agenda requirements of 1-21, G.S., when it held the meeting of its search committee because 1-18a(b) excludes from the definition of meeting "any meeting of a personnel search committee for executive level employment candidates."

 

6. It is concluded that the complainant has no standing to raise the issue whether the respondent properly served its own members with notice of the January 3, 1991 meeting.

 

7. It is concluded that whether the January 3 meeting was a meeting of a subcommittee, or of the respondent, there is no distinction under 1-21, G.S., with respect to the requirements applicable. Therefore, as long as the notice, agenda and minutes requirements of 1-21, G.S., are satisfied, there is no violation of the law.

 

8. It is found that the respondent did not prove that any necessity of any kind required that it hold a special meeting on January 3, 1991.

 

9. It is concluded, however, that the respondent does not have to prove that it was necessary to hold a special meeting before it can satisfy the requirements of 1-21, G.S.

 

10. It is concluded further that the Commission has no jurisdiction over the complainant's assertions that the call of the January 3, 1991 meeting violated the town charter.

 

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

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 25, 1991.

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission

 

#FIC 91-15 Page 3

 

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:

 

Stephen O. Allaire, Esq.

Ruggiero, Ziogas & Allaire

271 Farmington Ave.

Bristol, CT 06010-3901

 

Beverly Nalette

95 Nalette Drive

Winsted, CT 06098

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission