CCFOI Meeting Minutes – June 19, 2019

The annual meeting of CCFOI was at Pond House Café, 1555 Asylum Ave., West Hartford. The minutes of the May 15, 2019 meeting were accepted. Treasurer’s report: There is a balance of $3,269. Legislative report: Colleen Murphy, executive director of the FOI Commission, and Liz Gemski of Murtha Cullina  discussed the 2019 legislative session. The legislative report by Paula Pearlman of FOIC, was distributed. It is attached to these minutes. Awards: Each year, CCFOI honors journalists and non-journalists for their contributions to the cause of open government. The Bice Clemow award goes to a non-journalist, the Stephen A. Collins award goes to a journalist, and the Champion of Open Government award goes to journalists and non-journalists. Clemow award: There was no winner this year. The CCFOI board concluded it could not identify a non-journalist who had distinguished themselves in the cause of open government. Collins award: The Hartford Courant and reporters Dave Altimari and Josh Kovner were the winners for their ongoing coverage of the 2012 shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The Courant’s outstanding reporting, aided by a successful lawsuit, provided details of the shooting that state officials had tried to keep secret. Champion of Open Government award: Tara O’Neill, a reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media Group, was honored. In May, she was covering a demonstration in Bridgeport on the second anniversary of an officer-involved fatal shooting. Without explanation, police took her into custody, handcuffed her and transported her to police headquarters. She was released after 30 minutes and not charged. O’Neill conducted herself professionally and used the situation to educate the public on how reporters cover the news in challenging circumstances. Lifetime Achievement Award: A special award honored the legacy of William J. Pape II, a strong supporter of CCFOI and open government. He was the longtime editor and publisher of the Republican-American in Waterbury. Elections: President Mike Savino, Treasurer George Lombardi and Secretary Mary Connolly were re-elected. Matt Kauffman was elected vice president, replacing Zach Janowski who did not seek re-election. Looking ahead: After a summer break, the next CCFOI meeting will be Sept. 18 at noon at Wood-n-Tap, 99 Sisson Ave., Hartford.