FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
August Iacobellis,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-010
First Selectman, Town of Guilford; Town
Engineer, Engineering Department, Town
of Guilford; Chairman, Tree Advisory Board,
Town of Guilford; and Town of Guilford,
Respondents June 10, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 10, 1998, at 
which time the complainant and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(1), G.S. 
	2.   It is found that, at an October 7, 1997 meeting of the respondent board, the 
respondent chairman stated that under state legislation a tree does not have to be removed 
unless it is determined to be a hazard by the local police department and that the Guilford 
Police Department had not made such a determination regarding a certain oak tree on Old 
Sachems Road in Guilford.  
	3.   By letter dated November 3, 1997, the complainant requested that the 
respondent engineer provide him with a copy of the state legislation alluded to by the 
respondent chairman at the meeting described in paragraph 2, above, as well as “the 
Guilford Police Department’s reply to that effect.”  Additionally, the complainant 
requested that the respondent engineer provide him with “the name and address of your 
general liabilities carrier.”  The complainant stated that neither the respondent town’s 
insurance agent nor board of selectmen employees could provide him with the requested 
information regarding the insurance carrier.  
	4.   By letters dated December 18, 1997 and December 30, 1997 addressed to the 
respondent engineer and copied to the respondent chairman, the complainant renewed his 
request, as described in paragraph 3, above. 
	5.   By letter dated December 31, 1997, the respondent first selectman informed 
the complainant that all future requests should be directed to his attention, that the 
respondent engineer and others had provided the complainant with information related to 
the name and address of the town’s insurance carrier, and that the respondent board had 
amply addressed his concerns regarding the tree described in paragraph 2, above.  
	6.   By letter dated January 2, 1998, the complainant informed the respondent first 
selectman that he had not received the requested information relative to the town’s 
insurance carrier in telephone conversations with the respondent town’s insurance agent 
and board of selectmen employees.  The complainant further informed the first selectman 
that the respondent chairman had not provided the information requested of her in the 
letters described in paragraph 4, above.  
	7.   By letter dated January 10, 1998 and filed on January 13, 1998, the 
complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the 
Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying him access to the requested information.
	8.   At the hearing in this matter, the complainant contended that reference to state 
legislation at a meeting of a public agency requires that such legislation be added to the 
minutes of such meeting.  However, it is concluded that the FOI Act does not require 
such an action on the part of a public agency.
	9.   Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:
[e]xcept as otherwise provided by any federal law or state 
statute, all records maintained…by any public agency, 
whether or not such records are required by any law or by 
any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every 
person shall have the right to inspect such records promptly 
during regular office…hours….
	10.  The FOI Act requires that public agencies provide access to non-exempt 
public records; however, it does not require that agencies perform research, answer 
questions or create records in response to requests.
	11.  It is found that the requests for state legislation described in paragraphs 3 and 
4, above, amount to requests that the respondents perform research and/or answer 
questions.  Therefore, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act by 
failing to provide the complainant with such information.  It is noted, however, that, at 
the hearing in this matter, the respondents nevertheless agreed to cite the relevant 
legislation to the complainant.   
	12.  It is further found that the complainant’s telephone calls in search of the name 
and address of the town’s insurance carrier, as described in paragraph 6, above, and his 
letters described in paragraphs 3 and 4, above, were in essence requests that the 
respondents answer a question.  Therefore, it is concluded that the respondents did not 
violate the FOI Act by failing to provide the complainant with such information.  It is 
noted, however, that, at the hearing in this matter, the respondents nevertheless agreed to 
provide the complainant with the insurance carrier’s street address.  
	13.  With respect to the police department “reply” sought by the complainant as 
described in paragraph 3, above, it is found that the only responsive record in existence is 
a November 4, 1996 memorandum from the respondent town’s police chief to the 
respondent engineer.  It is further found that the complainant was provided with a copy of 
such memorandum but he disputes the respondent chairman’s characterization of it, 
which is not a matter within the purview of the Commission.  Accordingly, it is 
concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act with respect to the issue of the 
requested “reply.”
	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 Commission concluded that the respondents did not violate the 
FOI Act in this matter, it observes that providing assistance to the public can in many 
instances avoid the need for hearings at this Commission, and the respondents are urged 
to provide such assistance in the future.  

	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular 
meeting of June 10, 1998.


_________________________
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:
August Iacobellis
56 Arrowhead Drive
Guilford, CT 06437
First Selectman, Town of Guilford; Town Engineer, Engineering Department, Town of 
Guilford; Chairman, Tree Advisory Board, Town of Guilford; and Town of Guilford
c/o Atty. Charles R. Andres
205 Church Street
P.O. Box 1936
New Haven, CT 06509
__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1997-010/FD/tcg/06121998