FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

FINAL DECISION
Docket #FIC 1996-469
July 30, 1997

In the Matter of a Complaint by Richard Hemingson, Complainant
against
Planning and Zoning Commission, Town of Colebrook, Respondent

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 19, 1997, 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 complaint dated and filed with the Commission on October 8, 1996, the complainant alleged that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to record in the minutes of its September 11, 1996 meeting the votes of each of its members on the issue of proceeding with certain revisions to the respondent’s sand and gravel regulations as proposed by the complainant.

3. It is found that at the September 11, 1996 meeting, the respondent’s chair polled the respondent’s membership present as to whether they wished to proceed with the proposed revisions described in paragraph 2, above.

4. It is also found that all of the respondent’s membership present, except for Mr. Jasmin, decided to proceed with the proposed revisions as described in paragraph 2, above.

5. It is further found that the decision described in paragraph 4, above, was called a "consensus" and was not recorded in the minutes of the respondent’s September 11, 1996 meeting.

Docket #FIC1996-469 Page 2

6. Section 1-21(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that the "votes of each member of any . . . public agency upon any issue before such public agency shall be reduced to writing and made available for public inspection within forty-eight hours and shall also be recorded in the minutes of the session at which taken. . . ."

7. It is found that the so-called "consensus" described in paragraph 5, above, constituted a vote of the respondent’s members on an issue before that agency within the meaning of 1-21(a), G.S.

8. It is therefore, concluded that the respondent violated 1-21(a), G.S., by failing to reduce to writing and to make available for public inspection within forty-eight hours the vote described in paragraph 5, above, and to record such vote in the minutes of its September 11, 1996 meeting.

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 amend the minutes of its September 11, 1996 meeting to reflect the vote of each of its members on the issue more fully described in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 of the findings, above.

2. Henceforth the respondent shall strictly comply with the record of votes and minutes provisions of 1-21(a), G.S.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of July 30, 1997.

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission

Docket #FIC1996-469 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:
Richard Hemingson
Box 207
Colebrook, CT. 06021

Planning and Zoning Commission
Town of Colebrook
558 Colebrook Road
P. O. Box 5
Colebrook, CT. 06021

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission
fic1996-469/FD/mes/08141997