FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

Michael Gorfinkle,

 
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-667

David Streit, Chairman, Fairfield County

Municipal Deer Management Alliance; and

Fairfield County Municipal

Deer Management Alliance,

 
  Respondents June 22, 2011
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 5, 2011, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. This matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC 2010-539, Michael Gorfinkle against David Streit, Chairman, Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance et al.

 

            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 October 25, 2010, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to file a notice of their October 20, 2010 special meeting. The complainant requested the imposition of civil penalties.

 

            3.  It is found that the respondent Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance (the “Alliance”) is a regional planning agency whose members are officials from the participating municipalities. Those municipalities include Wilton and Redding. According to the Alliance’s web site, the Alliance is a consortium of municipalities whose purpose is to foster an informed and collaborative approach to reducing the region’s over-abundant deer population.

 

4. It is found that the respondents, by email dated October 14, 2010, delivered a notice of the October 20 meeting to the Redding Town Clerk.

 

5.  Section 1-200(2), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

“Meeting” means any hearing or other proceeding of a public agency, any convening or assembly of a quorum of a multimember public agency, and any communication by or to a quorum of a multimember public agency, whether in person or by means of electronic equipment, to discuss or act upon a matter over which the public agency has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power. 

 

6. Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

Each such agency shall keep and maintain all public records in its custody at its regular office or place of business in an accessible place and, if there is no such office or place of business, the public records pertaining to such agency shall be kept in the office of the clerk of the political subdivision in which such public agency is located ….

 

7.  Section 1-225(d), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

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 each municipal member for any multitown district or agency. 

 

8.  It is found that, although the notice was delivered to the Redding Town Clerk, it was not filed with the town clerks of the other municipalities that are members of the Alliance.

 

9.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated 1-225(a), G.S.

 

10. It is further concluded that this violation was not without reasonable grounds, and that therefore a civil penalty is not appropriate.

 

 

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

 

            1.  Henceforth the respondents shall strictly comply with the requirements of 1-225(a), G.S., regarding the filing of notices and agendas of its meetings.

 

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 22,  2011.

 

 

__________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

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:

 

Michael Gorfinkle

48 Fire Hill Road

West Redding, CT  06896

 

David Streit, Chairman, Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance;

54 Cross Highway

Redding, CT  06896

 

and

 

Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance

P.O. Box 186

Georgetown, CT  06829

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

FIC/2010-667/FD/cac/6/24/2011