FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Wanda Siemiatkoski,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2005-368

Town Manager, Town of Windsor;

Mayor, Town of Windsor; and

Town Council, Town of Windsor,

 
  Respondents November 9, 2005
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 5, 2005, 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 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  By letter of complaint filed July 28, 2005, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by improperly conducting certain matters in two executive sessions, and by failing to provide records of the discussions that occurred in those executive sessions.

 

3.  It is found that the respondent Town Council met on November 17, 2003 and December 15, 2003.

 

4.  It is found that both meetings were noticed, and that minutes of the two meetings were filed shortly after the meetings.

 

5.  It is found that the agenda and minutes of each meeting reflected that the respondent Town Council intended to and did convene in executive session for the stated purpose of “[d]iscussion of the selection of a site or a lease, sale or purchase of real estate.”

 

6.  It is found that, on March 9, 2005 and again on July 27, 2005, the complainant requested the minutes of the discussions conducted in executive session on November 17 and December 15, 2003.

 

7.  It is found that on March 14, 2005 the respondents provided the complainant with the minutes of the November 17 and December 15, 2003 meetings, but that such minutes do not record discussions conducted in executive session.

 

8.  The complainant maintains that the respondent Town Council’s executive sessions were conducted for an improper purpose, and therefore the respondents must produce minutes of the discussions conducted in executive session.

 

9.  Because the complaint in this matter was filed more than thirty days following the November 17 and December 15, 2003 meetings, the Commission necessarily must determine whether it has subject matter jurisdiction over any alleged violations occurring at those meetings.

 

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

 

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. 

 

11.  It is found that the November 17 and December 15, 2003 meetings of the respondent Town Council were not secret or unnoticed within the meaning of 1-206(b)(1), G.S.

 

12.  Further, it is found that the complainant had notice in fact on March 14, 2005 that the November 17 and December 15, 2003 meetings were held, within the meaning of 1-206(b)(1), G.S.

 

13.  It is therefore concluded that the Commission has no jurisdiction to address alleged violations occurring at the respondent Town Council’s November 17 and December 15, 2003 meetings.

 

14.  Additionally, it is found that the respondent Town Council did not maintain a record of the discussion conducted in executive session at the November 17 and December 15, 2003 meetings, and that it provided to the complainant the minutes it maintained of those meetings.

 

15.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act when they provided to the complainant the only minutes they had of the November 17 and December 15, 2003 meetings of the Town Council.

 

 

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.

 

2.   The respondent’s counsel represented that he shall communicate with

the complainant as to whether any notes exist from the executive session in question.  If such notes do exist, he will cause them to be provided to the complainant forthwith.

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of November 9, 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:

 

Wanda Siemiatkoski

c/o Johanna M. Canning, Esq.

97 Oak Street

Hartford, CT 06106

 

Town Manager, Town of Windsor;

Mayor, Town of Windsor; and

Town Council, Town of Windsor

c/o Vincent W. Oswecki, Jr., Esq.

20 Maple Avenue

Windsor, CT 06095

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2005-368FD/paj/11/16/2005