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Final Decision FIC2014-450
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Paul Baer,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2014-450
Paul Lenky, First Selectman,
Town of Thompson; Kerstin
Forrester, Shaina Smith, as
members, Board of Selectmen,
Town of Thompson; Board of
Selectmen, Town of Thompson;
and Town of Thompson,
     Respondents
April 22, 2015

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 10, 2015, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. 
     At the request of the complainant, the Commission takes administrative notice of its final decisions in Docket #FIC 2013-808, Paul Baer v. Kerstin Forrester, Chairman, Fire Protection Advisory Committee, Town of Thompson; Fire Protection Advisory Committee, Town of Thompson; and Town of Thompson; and in Docket #FIC 2013-205, Paul Baer v. John Bell, Chairman, Fire Advisory Committee, Town of Thompson; and Fire Advisory Committee, Town of Thompson.
     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.  It is found that, by e-mail sent on July 14, 2014, the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to post the agenda for their June 25, 2014 special meeting on their web page twenty-four hours prior to that meeting, pursuant to §1-225(d), G.S.  The complainant requested the imposition of civil penalties and that the actions taken at the meeting be declared null and void.
     3.  Section 1-225(d), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
Notice of each special meeting of every public agency… shall be posted not less than twenty-four hours before the meeting to which such notice refers on the public agency’s Internet web site, if available…
     4.  It is found that the respondent board has a web page on the town of Thompson’s (hereinafter “the town”) website on which it may post the agendas and notices of its special meetings.
     5.  It is found that the notice and agenda for the respondent board’s June 25, 2014 special meeting was not posted on the town’s website, in accordance with the provisions of §1-225(d), G.S.
     6.  It is found that the executive assistant to the respondent first selectman ordinarily posts the notices and agendas for the respondent board on the website but due to an unexpected absence, did not do so for the June 25, 2015 special meeting. 
     7.  However, notices and agendas for the respondent board’s special meetings have been properly posted on the town’s website, in accordance with the provision of §1-225(d), G.S., in the past, and it is found that the respondent board’s failure to do so for the June 25, 2014 special meeting was clearly simply an oversight.
     8.  It is concluded that the respondents violated the notice provisions of §1-225(d), G.S.  However, based on the facts and circumstances of this case, the Commission declines to consider the complainant’s request for civil penalties or his request to have the actions taken at the June 25, 2014 special meeting declared null and void.

     Based on the administrative record in this case, no order is recommended.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 22, 2015.
__________________________
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:
Paul Baer
P.O. Box 522
Thompson, CT  06277
Paul Lenky, First Selectman, Town of Thompson; Kerstin
Forrester, Shaina Smith, as members, Board of Selectmen,
Town of Thompson; Board of Selectmen, Town of
Thompson; and Town of Thompson
815 Riverside Drive
P.O. Box 899
North Grosvenordale, CT  06255
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2014-450/FD/cac/4/22/2015