FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|against||Docket #FIC 1998-073|
Simsbury Board of Education, Town of
|Respondents||August 12, 1998|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 21, 1998 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(1), G.S.
2. By letter of complaint dated March 16, 1998 and filed with the Commission on March 17, 1998, the complainant alleged that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act by:
a) failing to provide notice to the public that all board of education members, all but one, board of finance members, the superintendent of schools (superintendent) and other town of Simsbury public officers and employees would be present at the respondents special meeting of March 5, 1998; andb) failing to adequately indicate in the notice of the March 5, 1998 special meeting the business to be considered.
3. The complainant requested that the Commission impose a civil penalty upon the members of the respondent and the superintendent.
4. It is found that the respondent held a special meeting on March 5, 1998 for which a meeting notice was duly filed with the town clerks office on March 2, 1998 (hereinafter special meeting).
5. It is found that among those in attendance at the special meeting were all the members of the board of education, a quorum of the board of finance, the superintendent of schools, other public officers and town employees.
6. The complainant contends that the special meeting was not a meeting of the respondent but a meeting of the boards of education and finance, because a quorum of those boards were present at the special meeting. The complainant further contends that the notice of the special meeting provides no indication to the public that the boards of education and finance, and the superintendent would be present at the special meeting.
7. Section 1-18a(2), G.S., in relevant part, provides that:
A quorum of the members of a public agency who are present at any event which has been noticed and conducted as a meeting of another public agency under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act shall not be deemed to be holding a meeting of the public agency of which they are members as a result of their presence at such event.
8. It is found that the special meeting was noticed and conducted as a meeting of the respondent within the meaning of §1-18a(2), G.S.
9. It is also found that the boards of education and finance were not holding meetings as a result of the presence of a quorum of such agency members, at the special meeting.
10. With respect to the complainants allegation described in paragraph 2b) of the findings above, §1-21(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:
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.
11. It is found that the notice of the special meeting is in accordance with the requirements of §1-21(a), G.S., and the business considered at the special meeting was that specified in the notice.
13. It is therefore, concluded that the respondent did not violate §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. The complaint is dismissed. Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 12, 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:
Joan Coe 26 Whitcomb Drive Simsbury, CT 06070
Building and Grounds Subcommittee, Simsbury Board of Education, Town of Simsbury c/o Atty. Thomas Sullivan Sullivan, Schuen, Campane & Connon 646 Prospect Avenue Hartford, CT 06105
__________________________ Doris V. Luetjen Acting Clerk of the Commission