FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Thomas J. Doyle,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-228
Zoning Commission, City of Bristol;
and City of Bristol,
Respondents March 10, 1999

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 30, 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 dated and filed on August 4, 1998, the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondent commission violated the Freedom of Information Act as follows:

a. the respondent commission failed to file timely minutes of its April 15th, June 3rd, and July 27th, 1998, meetings;

b. the respondent commission failed to require every member of the public to hand in pictures used during their testimony at a public hearing;

c. the respondent commission failed to take verbatim minutes of its July 15, 1998, meeting;

d. the respondent commission required the complainant to pay for copies at fifty cents per page when he had not been so required in the past.

The complainant requested that this Commission invalidate the votes of the respondent commission and order the respondent commission to attend a FOI Act workshop.

        3. With regard to the alleged violation found in paragraph 2a, above, 1-21(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that the " . . .[meeting minutes of a public agency] shall be available for public inspection within seven days of the session to which they refer.

        4. At the hearing in this matter, the respondent commission admitted that it had not made the minutes of its April 15th, June 3rd and July 27th, 1998, meeting available for public inspection within the required statutory period.

        5. It is concluded therefore that the respondent commission violated 1-21(a), G.S., by failing to have its minutes of the April 14th, June 3rd, and July 27th, 1998 meetings available for public inspection within seven days of each meeting.

        6. With respect to the alleged violation described in paragraph 2b and 2c, above, it is found that the complainant does not allege a violation under the FOI Act.

        7. With regard to the alleged violation described in paragraph 2d, above, 1-15(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that "the fee for any copy provided in accordance with the freedom of information act . . . [by a municipal agency] shall not exceed fifty cents per page."

        8. It is found that the respondents acted within the statute by requiring the complainant to pay for the copies he requested.

        9. It is concluded therefore that the respondents did not violate 1-15(a), G.S., by requiring the complainant to pay for copies.

        10. Based upon the evidence in this case, the Commission will not nullify or void the votes of the respondent commission.

        11. Based upon the respondent’s testimony that steps have been taken to ensure timely compliance with the minutes provision of 1-21(a), G.S., the Commission declines to order attendance at a FOI Act workshop at this time.

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

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

         Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 10, 1999.

 

 

_________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

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:

 

Thomas J. Doyle
181 Sherwood Road
Bristol, CT 06010-9013
Zoning Commission, City of Bristol; and
City of Bristol
c/o Atty. Dean B. Kilbourne
Assistant Corporation Counsel
111 North Main Street
Bristol, CT 06010

 

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1998-228FD/mrb03111999