FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Hank Buermeyer,  

Complainant

 

against

Docket #FIC 1997-059

Public Safety Committee of the Groton City Council, City of Groton  

Respondent

September 24, 1997

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 21, 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:

The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

2. By letter dated and postmarked February 5, 1997, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent held a special meeting on January 6, 1997 without filing the notice required by 1-21(a), G.S.

3. It is found that the respondent held a special meeting on January 6, 1997.

4. Section 1-21(a), G.S., provides 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 the respondent did not give the notice required by 1-21(a), G.S., for its January 6, 1997 special meeting, nor did it keep to the business intended for such meeting as authorized by the Groton City Council at its meeting of December 16, 1996.

6. It is therefore concluded that the respondent violated 1-21(a), G.S., with respect to its January 6, 1997 meeting and that such violation was without reasonable grounds.

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

1. All actions taken at the respondent’s January 6, 1997 meeting are hereby declared null and void.

2. Henceforth, the respondent shall comply strictly with the requirements of 1-21(a), G.S.

3. The Commission recognizes that the respondent’s chair was unclear as to whose responsibility it was to provide notice of the special meeting in question. The Commission therefore recommends in the strongest possible terms that the respondent clarify whose duty it shall be to provide the required notices for all its future meetings in order to avoid repeated instances of the violation that occurred in this case.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 24, 1997.

_________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission

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:
Hank Buermeyer
RR 1 Box 59
East Corinth, VT. 05040

Public Safety Committee of the Groton City Council, City of Groton
c/o Elizabeth Duarte
54 Cottage Street
Groton, CT. 06340

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1997-059/FD/mes/10031997