FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
John P. Turley,
against Docket #FIC 94-144
Mayor of Meriden,
Respondent April 18, 1995
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 30, 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 filed May 9, 1994, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent called an unnoticed meeting of the Meriden city council on May 2, 1994 after the regular meeting had adjourned.
3. It is found that the Meriden city council held a regular meeting on May 2, 1994.
4. It is found that that meeting adjourned after approximately 20 minutes.
5. It is found that the mayor, who presides over meetings of the city council, immediately asked the council to reconvene to consider another item of business in executive session.
6. It is found that no member of the council or of the public had left the meeting room between the adjournment of the regular meeting and the mayor's request to reconvene the meeting.
7. It is found that the council then convened in executive session.
8. The complainant maintains that the respondent improperly held an unnoticed meeting.
Docket #FIC 94-144 Page 2
9. The respondent in turn maintains that the city council could informally reconvene its meeting, which it did, and then properly convene in executive session.
10. The complainant raises no issue with respect to the propriety of the executive session.
11. It is found that the city council reconvened its meeting to discuss the proposed acquisition of property.
12. Section 1-21d, G.S., contains provisions for the adjournment of meetings to a time and place specified in the order of adjournment.
13. It is found that the respondent did not follow the procedures provided in 1-21d, G.S., which include the filing of a written notice of adjournment with the town clerk and the posting of the notice on the meeting room door.
14. It is also found, however, given the extremely brief period of adjournment, that the procedures specified in 1-21d, G.S., would not have made any sense under the circumstances.
15. It is additionally found that the extremely brief period of adjournment was more in the nature of a brief recess than a formal adjournment of the meeting.
16. However, it is also found that the proposed acquisition of property was not on the agenda of the regular meeting.
17. Section 1-21(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:
The agenda of the regular meetings of every public agency, except for the general assembly, shall be available to the public and shall be filed, not less than twenty-four hours before the meetings to which they refer, in such agency's regular office or place of business or, if there is no such office or place of business, in the office of the clerk of such subdivision for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state .... Upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of a public agency present and voting, any subsequent business not included in such filed agendas may be considered and acted upon at such meetings.
18. It is found that the respondent, although he called for a motion to convene in executive session, did not call for a motion to add business to the agenda, and that the city council did not vote on such a motion.
Docket #FIC 94-144 Page 3
19. It is concluded that the respondent therefore violated 1-21(a), G.S.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. Henceforth the respondent shall strictly comply with the requirements of 1-21(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of April 18, 1995.
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 94-144 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:
JOHN P. TURLEY
120 Britannia Street
Meriden, CT 06450-2228
MAYOR OF MERIDEN
c/o Christopher P. Hankins, Esq.
Deputy City Attorney
Department of Law
142 East Main Street
Meriden, CT 06450-8022
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission