FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Robert Flanigan,
  Complainant  
  against Docket #FIC 2004-025

Board of Selectmen,

Town of Granby,

 
  Respondent  July 14, 2004
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 14, 2004, 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 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  By letter dated January 8, 2004, and received January 15, 2004, the complainant alleged that a town meeting was improperly conducted on January 5, 2004.  Specifically, the complainant alleged that:

 

(a) such meeting was improperly warned in that the agenda did not indicate that a vote would take place;

 

(b) the complainant was cut short in the remarks he made at such meeting;

 

            (c) the town moderator improperly influenced a vote during such meeting.

 

3.  By letter dated January 8, 2004, but received February 10, 2004, the complainant amended this complaint to indicate that the respondent conducted the meeting described in paragraph 2, above, and alleged allegations similar to those set forth in paragraph 2, above, with respect to the respondent’s meeting.  

 

4.  It is concluded that the allegations set forth in paragraph 2.b, 2.c, and repeated in paragraph 3, above, do not allege violations of the Freedom of Information [hereinafter “FOI”] Act.  Therefore, the Commission lacks jurisdiction over such allegations and they shall not be further addressed herein.

 

            5.  With respect to the allegation set forth in paragraph 2.a, and repeated in paragraph 3, above, 1-225, G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

(c) The agenda of the regular meetings of every public agency, except for the General Assembly, shall be available to the public and shall be filed, not less than twenty-four hours before the meetings to which they refer, in such agency's regular office or place of business or, if there is no such office or place of business, in the office of the Secretary of the State for any such public agency of the state, in the office of the clerk of such subdivision for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state or in the office of the clerk of each municipal member of any multitown district or agency.  Upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of a public agency present and voting, any subsequent business not included in such filed agendas may be considered and acted upon at such meetings.

(d) 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….

            6.  It is found that the respondent convened a regular meeting on January 5, 2004.   It is further found that, immediately upon the conclusion of the respondent board’s meeting, a special town meeting convened.

            7.  It is found that the notice of the special town meeting stated the date, time, and place of such meeting and, further, that such meeting would be held:

“for consideration of the following resolution: 1. Be it resolved that in accordance with Section 10-153d(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, the agreement between the Granby Board of Education and the Granby Education Association, dated July 1, 2004-June 30, 2007, which was filed with the Town Clerk on December 12, 2003, be rejected…”

            8.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant contended that neither the agenda of the respondent’s regular meeting, nor the notice of the special town meeting, which meetings are described in paragraph 6, above, fairly apprised the public of the business to be transacted at such meetings because neither document specified that a vote would be taken on the agreement described in paragraph 7, above.

9.  It is found that the fact that a vote would be taken on the agreement described in paragraph 7, above, is implicit in the language of the notice of the special town meeting described therein, and that the business to be transacted at such meeting, within the meaning of 1-225(d), G.S., was whether to reject such agreement by town meeting vote.  

10.  It is found that the actions at issue in this matter occurred after the conclusion of the respondent’s meeting and during the special town meeting. 

11.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act, as alleged in the complaint.

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.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of July 14, 2004.

 

 

___________________________________

Ann B. Gimmartino

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:

 

Robert Flanigan

24 Woodcliff Drive

Granby, CT  06035

 

Board of Selectmen,

Town of Granby

c/o Donald Holtman, Esq.

130 Washington Street

Hartford, CT  06106

 

 

___________________________________

Ann B. Gimmartino

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

FIC/2004-025/FD/abg/07/15/2004