FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Richard J. White,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2008-558

Board of Park Commissioners,

City of Waterbury,

 
  Respondent January 14, 2009
       

 

            The above-captioned matter was consolidated for hearing with Docket # FIC 2008-439, Richard J. White v. City Clerk, City of Waterbury; and Public Works Department, City of Waterbury. Both matters were scheduled for hearing as contested cases on October 14, 2008, at which time both the complainant and the respondent in the above captioned matter 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)(A), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that, by letter received on June 4, 2008, the complainant made a request to the respondent for copies of two categories of records (the “requested records”), including:

 

a)      From the opening day of sales through March 25, 2008, copies of the sales receipts showing the name, address, type of pass and price paid by a season pass purchaser for the 2008 golf season; and

 

b)      All correspondence sent to the pro shops at east Mountain and Western Hills, conveying the prices of season passes and daily play rates for the 2008 golf season.

 

3.  By letter dated June 27, 2008 and filed with the Commission on July 1, 2008, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent’s failure to provide the requested records violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).

 

4.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., states:

 

“Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

 

5.  Sections 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., state, respectively, in relevant parts:

 

Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. 

 

 

Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record. 

 

6.  Section 1-210, G.S., states in relevant part:

 

(b)  Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of:

 

 

(23)  The name or address of any minor enrolled in any parks and recreation program administered or sponsored by any public agency;

 

7.  It is concluded that the requested records are “public records” within the meaning of 1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

8.  It is found that the requested records were not provided to the complainant until the hearing in this matter. At the hearing, eighty-one applications were provided in response to the request set forth at paragraph 2a), with the names and addresses of minors redacted pursuant to 1-210(b)(23), G.S. A single page of rates was provided in response to the request set forth at paragraph 2b). These records were provided without charge to the complainant. It is also found that the respondent has not had extensive experience addressing FOIA requests.        

 

9.  It is concluded that the respondent violated 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by failing to provide the requested records promptly.

 

            The following orders by the Commission are hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

 

1.  Henceforth, the respondent shall provide requested non-exempt records promptly.       

 

2.  The respondent shall contact the Commission within thirty days to schedule an FOIA workshop conducted by a member of the Commission’s staff for all members and staff of the respondent. A joint workshop can be used to satisfy this order and order 2 in Docket # FIC 2008-439, Richard J. White v. City Clerk, City of Waterbury; and Public Works Department, City of Waterbury

 

 

 

                                   

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 14, 2009.

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

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:

 

Richard J. White

31 Gayfield Road

Waterbury, CT 06706

 

Board of Park Commissioners,

City of Waterbury

c/o Kevin J. Daly Jr., Esq.

Corporation Counsel

City of Waterbury

26 Kendrick Avenue, 8th Floor

Waterbury, CT 06702

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2008-558FD/sw/1/22/2009