CCFOI Meeting Minutes – Oct. 20, 2021

The meeting was via Zoom.

Present: Mike Savino, Jeff Daniels, Michele Jacklin, Kim Phillips, Colleen Murphy, Paula Pearlman, Mary Connolly, Jacky Smith, Liz Gemski.

The minutes of the June 16, 2021 annual meeting and the Sept. 14, 2021 awards luncheon were accepted.

Savino was at work and had to leave the meeting. Jacklin chaired the meeting.

Treasurer’s report: Phillips reported a balance of $13,770.25. She reported we broke even on the costs of the September awards luncheon, thanks to contributions and good attendance. The total cost of the event was $2,186.88. That left just $36 to be covered by CCFOI. Phillips said we will have to decide whether to plan the 2022 annual awards luncheon for next June, the traditional time, and whether to reserve a date and make a deposit at the Pond House. Thanks to the Connecticut Broadcasters Association for paying its dues.

Legislative report: Gemski reviewed preparations for the 2022 legislative session, which will open in February. State agencies are working through their proposals. She will examine them for any impact on FOI. As discussion continues on the use of algorithms in public decisions, Gemski suggested we consider sponsoring an informational public forum with a legislative committee on algorithms.

Gemski said legislative proposals may return on the use of hand-held scanners and cell phones to avoid fees for copying documents. Town clerks are already in touch with legislators to express concern about losing revenue. FOIA is not meant to be a revenue raiser but it has become that for town clerks. Gemski said a compromise might be workable, such as reducing fees or finding ways to supplement revenue.

CCFOI 2022 legislative agenda: Gemski suggested focusing on three or four issues. We should have that list completed by the end of the year.

2021 Connecticut State Register and Manual: Our revision has been accepted. We are listed at Savino’s address and our email and website addresses were revised. Our listing: “CONNECTICUT COUNCIL ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION.–Address: 7 Crestwood Dr., Manchester 06040. Pres., Michael Savino; Vice Pres., Michele Jacklin; Secy., Mary Connolly; Treas., Kimberly Phillips. Website: ccfoi.com. E-mail: ctfoicouncil@gmail.com.”

CCFOI website: There was discussion of our website. It has not been updated in recent years as we faced budget challenges. With a healthier budget, there was discussion of hiring Katherine Garner, who maintains social media for the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government.

Looking ahead: The next CCFOI meeting will be Nov. 17 at noon, via Zoom.