FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Donna M. Benoit,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-102
Chairman, Board of Selectmen, Town of
Portland; and Board of Selectmen, Town
of Portland
Respondents August 12, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 26, 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.  By letter of complaint dated and filed with the Commission on April 8, 1998, 
the complainant alleged that four members of the respondent board violated the 
Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by convening an unnoticed meeting on March 16, 
1998.
	3.  It is found that the Construction Subcommittee of the Town [of Portland] 
Facilities Building Committee held a meeting on March 16, 1998 to review the proposed 
plan for renovating two buildings (hereinafter “subcommittee meeting”).
	4.  It is found that the subcommittee meeting was not noticed in accordance with 
FOI requirements.
	5.  It is found that four members of the respondent board attended and participated 
in the discussions at the subcommittee meeting.
	6.  Section 1-18a(2), G.S., defines meeting as “[a]ny hearing or other proceeding 
of a public agency, any convening or assembly of a quorum of a multimember public 
agency, and any communication by or to a quorum of a multimember public agency, 
whether in person or by means of electronic equipment, to discuss or act upon a matter 
over which the public agency has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power.”
	7.  It is found that the convening of the four members of the respondent board at 
the subcommittee meeting, and their participation in the renovation discussions constituted 
a meeting of the respondent board (hereinafter “selectmen meeting”) within the meaning 
of 1-18a(2), G.S.
	8.  Section 1-21(a), G.S., in relevant part, provides:
The meetings of all public agencies, except executive 
sessions as defined in subdivision (6) of section 1-18a, shall 
be open to the public.  The votes of each member of any 
such 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, which 
minutes shall be available for public inspection within seven 
days of the session to which they refer.
	9.  Section 1-21(a), G.S., also requires that a public agency provide at least 
twenty-four hours notice to the public of regular and special meetings.
	10.  In addition, 1-19(a), G.S., in relevant part provides “[E]ach such agency shall 
make, keep and maintain a record of the proceedings of its meetings.”
	11.  It is found that the respondent board failed to notice the selectmen meeting in 
accordance with 1-21(a), G.S.
	12.  It is therefore, concluded that the respondent board 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 board shall strictly comply with the notice and 
meetings requirements of 1-19(a) and 1-21(a), G.S.
	2.  The Commission supports the respondent board’s suggestion that an FOI 
workshop would be beneficial to members of public agencies within the town.
 
 
	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:
Donna M. Benoit
224 Main Street 1st Floor Rear
P.O. Box 53
Portland, CT 06480
Chairman, Board of Selectmen, Town of Portland; and Board of Selectmen, Town of 
Portland
c/o Atty. Jean M. D’Aquila
Halloran & Sage LLP
One Goodwin Square
225 Asylum Street
Hartford, CT 06103


__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1998-102/FD/tcg/08181998