CCFOI Meeting Minutes – Sept. 16, 2015

Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information

Minutes, Sept. 16, 2015

The meeting was at Wood-n-Tap, 99 Sisson Ave., Hartford.

Present: Jim Smith, Mitch Pearlman, Chris Powell, Dan Klau, John Bailey, Jeff Daniels, Jeff Kurz, Steve Nevas, Ron Robillard, Zach Janowski, Mike Savino, Paula Pearlman, Mary Connolly, Colleen Murphy, George Lombardi, Tom Scheffey.

The minutes of the June 17, 2015 annual meeting were accepted.

Treasurer’s report: Lombardi reported a balance of $12,671.97. He suggested there be a discussion of the dues structure at the next meeting.

CFOG Cronkite dinner: At the dinner, CFOG will honor Floyd Abrams with its Walter Cronkite Freedom of Information Award, named after the CBS journalist. Abrams has spent his legal career fighting to protect First Amendment rights. The dinner is Oct. 22 at Amarante’s Sea Cliff in New Haven. Tickets are $100 each.

In past years, CCFOI  has been a co-sponsor of the event. There was discussion of how much we could afford to give. It was decided to contribute $1,500.

Legislative report: Bailey discussed the value of presenting a package of proposals that would touch many constituencies and allow us to build support. Bailey and Murphy said one of the issues legislators are concerned about is the use of the Freedom of Information Act by so-called “gadflies” to inundate offices with complaints or requests to the point they have difficulty doing their work.

It was agreed to create a subcommittee to discuss and prioritize proposals for CCFOI’s 2016 legislative agenda. Another subcommittee will work on language to address the problem caused by so-called gadflies.

Looking ahead: The next CCFOI meeting will be Oct. 21, 2015 at noon at Wood-n-Tap.