FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Arthur A. Bell, Jr.,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-326
Quassett Lake District,  
  Respondent May 25, 2005
       

 

            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 16, 2004, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared 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 July 15, 2004 and filed with the commission on July 20, 2004, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging in relevant part that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by:

 

a.  conducting business during its regular meeting on March 21, 2004 (hereinafter “March meeting”) that was not on its agenda for that meeting and failing to adequately inform the public of the subject matter to be undertaken.  The complainant further alleged that because of the vague wording of the agenda he did not attend a meeting which he would have attended had he been better apprised.

 

b.  conducting business during its regular meeting on May 8, 2004 (hereinafter “May meeting”) that was not on its agenda for that meeting and failing to adequately inform the public of the subject matter to be undertaken;

 

c.  failing to allow the complainant to speak at the May meeting; and

 

            d.  failing to tell the complainant who had placed an item entitled “Public Beach” on the agenda of the May meeting.

 

3.  At the hearing on this matter, the complainant also alleged that the respondent held an illegal meeting sometime between March 21, 2004 and May 20, 2004.

 

4.  Section 1-206(b)(1), G.S., in relevant part, provides:

 

Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210 or wrongfully denied the right to attend any meeting of a public agency or denied any other right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act may appeal therefrom to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission.  A notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days after such denial, except in the case of an unnoticed or secret meeting, in which case the appeal shall be filed within thirty days after the person filing the appeal receives notice in fact that such meeting was held.

 

5.  It is found that the March 21, 2004 and May 8, 2004 meetings described in paragraph 2, above, were neither secret nor unnoticed.

 

6.  It is further found that since the complainant filed his complaint more than thirty days after the meetings in question, the Commission lacks jurisdiction to hear the complainant’s appeal under 1-206(b)(1), 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 hereby dismissed.

                                                                       

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 25, 2005.

 

________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

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:

 

Arthur A. Bell, Jr.

69 Research Parkway

Meriden, CT 06450

 

Quassett Lake District

PO Box 134

Woodstock, CT 06281

 

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-326FD/paj/5/26/2005