In the Matter of a Request
    for Advisory Opinion





)     Advisory Opinion   #24



Town of East Haddam, Applicant

)     December 22, 1976








The Commission has agreed to furnish an advisory opinion to the Town of East Haddam, which posed its inquiry through its First Selectman, pursuant to 4-176, G.S.


Referring to the opinion of the Commission designated as Advisory opinion No. 12, dated March 1, 1976, the First Selectman stated that East Haddam is not governed by a Representative Town Meeting but by a Town Meeting.


The first question was whether the votes of each member the Town Meeting upon any issue must be reduced to writing. The second question was whether it is still possible to hold a vote by voting machine, as provided in 7-7, G.S.


No exception is provided by P.A. 75-342, 6. To the extent that the vote of the public agency is governed by P.A. 75-342, it must comply.


However, certain provisions of 6, according to the Town of East Haddam, are repugnant to 7-7. To the extent that such a conflict exists, it is resolved in favor of compliance with 7-7. Waterbury Teachers Assn. v. Furlong, 162 Conn. 390, 404-405, 1972. In the event that compliance with 7-7 precludes compliance with 6, therefore, the legislature intended that there should be a limited exception.





This conclusion requires that wherever there is a division of the house at the Town Meeting, the vote of each member on the issue shall be tabulated unless a paper or machine ballot renders that process impossible. In cases where 7-7 is not so invoked, it is suggested that the Moderator's effort can lawfully be minimized in the following manner. As applied to the Town Meeting, the statute assumes that the attendance of all persons eligible to vote at the meeting will be noted and made a part of the record of the quorum. In such a case it may be found feasible to list by name only those persons voting in the minority on the proposition, appropriate notation being made that all others present voted in the majority.





                                                                                            By Order of the Freedom of
                                                                                            Information Commission


                                                                                            Herbert Brucker, Chairman of
                                                                                            of the Freedom of Information

Date __19 January, 1977___



Louis J. Tapogna, Clerk