FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by                        FINAL DECISION

 

George J. Fensick, III

 

                        Complainant

 

            against              Docket #FIC 94-120

 

Plainville Planning Advisory Committee

 

                        Respondent                  August 24, 1994

 

            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 4, 1994, 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 dated and filed with the Commission on April 15, 1994, and amended by a letter dated and filed with the Commission on April 26, 1994, the complainant alleged that the respondent held a public hearing on March 17, 1994 for the purposes of P.A. 93-263, "Act Improving Educational Quality and Diversity," without complying with the notice requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.  The complainant further alleged that the respondent held a meeting on March 30, 1994 without complying with the notice requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

            3. It is found that the respondent held a public hearing as part of a March 17, 1994 special meeting and that it also held a special meeting on March 30, 1994.

 

Docket #FIC 94-120                           Page 2

 

            4.  Section 1-21(a), G.S., reads in pertinent part:

 

            Notice of each special meeting of every public agency . . . shall be given not less than twenty-four hours prior to the time of such meeting by filing a notice of the time and place thereof in the office . . . of the clerk of such subdivision for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state . . . .  The notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted.  No other business shall be considered at such meetings by such public agency.

 

            5.  It is found that with respect to the respondent's March 17, 1994 meeting, during which it held a public hearing for the purposes of P.A. 93-263, the respondent filed an agenda with the municipal clerk on March 16, 1994 before 4:30 p.m.  It is also found that such agenda constituted a notice of special meeting in compliance with the requirements of 1-21(a), G.S.

 

            6.  It is found that with respect to the respondent's March 30, 1994 meeting, the respondent filed an agenda with the municipal clerk on March 28, 1994.  It is found that such agenda constituted a notice of special meeting in compliance with the requirements of 1-21(a), G.S.

 

            7.  It is therefore concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-21(a), G.S., with respect to either its March 17, 1994 or March 30, 1994 meetings.

 

            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.

 

            2.  Although the facts presented at the hearing in this matter clearly establish that the respondent did not violate any provision of the Freedom of Information Act, the facts also indicate that the respondent had established its schedule of meetings sufficiently in advance so that it could have provided greater notice to the public.  Given the importance of the subject and the intent of P.A. 93-263 to encourage public input, the respondent would have served the public better had it provided greater advance notice.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 24, 1994.

 

                                                                 

                                    Debra L. Rembowski

                                    Clerk of the Commission

 

Docket #FIC 94-120                           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:

GEORGE J. FENSICK III

2 Pine Crest Drive

Plainville, CT 06062

 

PLAINVILLE PLANNING ADVISORY COMMITTEE

c/o Robert A. Michalik, Esq.

Eisenberg, Anderson, Michalik & Lynch

136 West Main Street

P.O. Box 2950

New Britain, CT 06050

 

                                                                 

                                    Debra L. Rembowski

                                    Clerk of the Commission