In the Matter of a Request
    for Advisory Opinion





)     Advisory Opinion   #22



Jerome F. Melvin, as Superintendent of Schools for the Town of Wallingford, Applicant

)     October 20, 1976








The Commission has approved the request for advisory opinion of the above named applicant dated September 1, 1976. The Superintendent of Wallingford public schools advised the Commission that the Wallingford Board of Education established an "educational council" in the course of implementing the provisions of its collective bargaining agreement with the Wallingford Education Association.


The council consists of three members of the Board of Education, the superintendent of schools, the president of the Wallingford Education Association, and three members of the teaching staff employed by the Wallingford public school system. The contract says that the primary function of this "council" is to recommend for the Board of Education consideration the establishment of policies and practices.


To the extent that the "educational council" is, in fact, a collective bargaining forum, it is exempt under Sec. l(b) of Public Act 75-342 since it concerns "strategy and negotiations with respect to collective bargaining."










The argument favoring the exclusion of access to meetings of this "council" is couched in technical references to the presence or absence of a quorum of the Board of Education, a public agency as defined by Public Act 75-342. The opinion of the Town Attorney is based on the presence of Board members in their official capacity at the "council" meetings to discuss or act upon matters within the control of the Board of Education. No information is furnished by the applicant as to the whole number of members of the Board of Education. For this reason, it is impossible to determine from the application whether or not the presence of three members of the Board of Education results in a meeting of that public agency.


In addition, the Commission finds from the facts submitted that the "council" not a public agency in that it does not consist of any board or commission of the Town of Wallingford within the definition of Sec. l(a) of Public Act 75-342.


It must follow that the meeting of the "council" is not a meeting of a public agency.





                                                                                            By Order of the Freedom of
                                                                                            Information Commission


                                                                                            Herbert Brucker, Chairman of
                                                                                            of the Freedom of Information

Date  __November 15, 1976_



                                                                                                         Louis J. Tapogna, Clerk