Freedom of Information Act

FOIA
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The following is a brief summary of pertinent parts of the Freedom of Information Act. Under the Freedom of Information Act all meetings of a town agency, department, board, commission, committee or sub-committee are open to the public except when in executive session.
 

Announcing Meetings

 
The town agency, department, board, commission or committee shall file a schedule of its regular meetings with the Town Clerk by January 31 of each year. A regular meeting cannot be held until such notice is on file with the Town Clerk. A regular meeting cannot be held until 30 days after the meeting schedule is filed.
 
If a Special Meeting is called it must be posted with the Town Clerk and also on the Town's website at least 24 hours before the meeting and must include time, location and items to be discussed. Written notice must be given to each member of the town agency, department, board, commission, committee or sub-committee. This notice may be waived by the member in writing and is unnecessary for members present when the special meeting time and place are being set.
 
If a regular meeting is canceled it must be posted with the Town Clerk, the Town's website and on the door of the meeting hall on the day of the meeting. If less than a quorum attends a meeting, the clerk of the meeting may adjourn the meeting and post such notice on door of meeting hall. A meeting may be continued the next day but notice of such continuation must be posted on the door and in the Town Clerk's Office and on the Town's website.
 
If at any time any regular meeting falls on a holiday, such regular meeting shall be held on the next business day.
 
 

Agendas

 
An agenda of each regular meeting must be posted with the Town Clerk and on the Town's website at least 24 hours before such meeting. Matters not on the filed agenda may be considered if 2/3 of the members attending vote to do so. The vote must be included in the minutes. A special meeting may only consider the items for which is was called and which were identified in the notice of the meeting.
 
Sub-committees must also post agendas with the Town Clerk and on the Town's website and their meetings are considered special meetings.

 

Minutes

 
Minutes of meetings must always be kept and must include time meeting was convened, attendance, all motions or issues voted on and how each member voted, and time of adjournment.
 
The votes of each member shall be reduced to writing and made available for public inspection within 48 hours. Full minutes for regular meetings must be made available for public inspection within 7 calendar days. Saturday, Sunday or legal holidays are not counted for special meeting minutes.
 
Minutes for emergency meetings must be filed not later than 72 hours following the holding of such meeting. Saturday, Sunday or legal holidays are not included in the 72 hours.
 
 

Executive Session

(a meeting closed to the public) may be held for the following reasons only:
 
a. Discussion concerning the appointment, employment, performance, evaluation, health or dismissal of a public officer or employee, provided that such individual may require that  discussion be held at an open meeting.
 
b. Strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency or a member thereof, because of the member's conduct as a member of such agency, is a party until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled.
 
c. Matters concerning security strategy or the deployment of security personnel, or devices affecting public security.
 
d. Discussion of the selection of a site or the lease, sale or purchase of real estate by a political subdivision of the state when publicity regarding such site, lease, sale, purchase or construction would cause a likelihood of increased price until such time as all of the property has been acquired or all proceedings or transactions concerning same have been terminated or abandoned.
 
e.  Discussion of any matter which would result in the disclosure of public records or the information contained therein described in subsection ((b) of section 1-210.
 
Two thirds of the members who are present must vote to move into executive session and they must publicly state the reasons for such a session. The vote and reason must be included in the minutes.
 
An executive session is limited to members of the agency, department, board, commission, committee or sub-committee and those persons who are invited to present testimony or opinions. The minutes must indicate all persons who were in attendance at an executive session.
 
For more information visit the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission