FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

 

In the Matter of a Request
 for Advisory Opinion


 

     Advisory Opinion   #60

Town Clerk, Town of Windsor, Applicant

    

 

 

 

On November 28, 1984, the Commission considered and agreed to respond to the request for an advisory opinion filed by the Town Clerk, Town of Windsor.

 

In essence, the applicant seeks the Commission's opinion as to whether a bulletin board located within the town hall where a municipal clerk's office is located, but physically outside that office, may be used for the posting of notices as required by the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Under the circumstances described below, it is the Commission's opinion that such a bulletin board may be used.

 

Conn. Gen. Stat. 1‑21(a), 1‑21d and 1‑2le provide that notices of special meetings, adjourned meetings and continued hearings, respectively, of certain agencies shall be filed with the appropriate political subdivision (municipal) clerks. The clerks are then obliged to cause such notices to be posted in their offices. The legislative intent behind these provisions is to prescribe convenient fixed locations where interested persons know they can inform themselves of the contents of these agency notices. This intent is in keeping with the overall purpose of the Freedom of Information Act to maximize public access to the records and meetings of public Agencies.

 

The Commission is aware that, in many instances, the public portions of town halls are open longer hours than those of the clerks' offices located in them. The commission is also aware that bulletin boards are often located in the public portions of town halls in order to maximize the ability of the public to learn what is posted on them. The Commission believes that such a bulletin board, if under the jurisdiction and control of a municipal clerk, constitutes part of his or her office and therefore may be used to comply with the above‑mentioned posting requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, this opinion should not be construed to countenance a proliferation of bulletin boards that results in confusing the public as to which is the official one for purposes of posting Freedom of Information Act notices. In this respect, the Commission believes that where a bulletin board physically located outside the clerk's office is used for Freedom of Information Act purposes, there should be a sign conspicuously displayed in the clerk's office directing the public to that bulletin board. Furthermore, the official bulletin board for the purposes of posting meeting and hearing notices under the Freedom of Information Act should be identified as such where more than one bulletin board is employed.

 

 

 

                                                                                            By Order of the Freedom of
                                                                                            Information Commission

                                                                                           

                                                                                ________________________
                                                                                            Judith A. Lahey, Chairman of
                                                                                            of the Freedom of Information
                                                                                            Commission

Date ___________________

 

Ordered_________________

Mary Jo Jolicoeur
Clerk of the Commission