CCFOI Meeting Minutes – January 15, 2020

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

Present: Mike Savino, Mitch Pearlman, Chris Powell, Liz Gemski, Matt Kauffman, Mary Connolly, George Lombardi, Michele Jacklin, Tom Scheffey, Colleen Murphy, Paula Pearlman.

The minutes of the Dec. 18, 2019 meeting were accepted.

Treasurer’s report: Lombardi reported a balance of $3,628.45. Bills were sent in December. Of the larger members, contributions were received from Yankee Institute and Connecticut Mirror.

President’s report: Savino reported on a conversation with Wendy Metcalfe, the new vice president of content and editor-in-chief of Hearst Connecticut Media Group. They discussed how CCFOI works and the mutual benefits of CCFOI having Hearst support.

Legislative report: Gemski reported on meetings with legislators and plans to schedule additional meetings.

The 2020 legislative agenda includes ensuring public access to the work of the Dalio Partnership for Connecticut, the public-private organization established to help struggling schools; limits on the practice of allowing unions and state officials to circumvent the FOI Act with contract language; and the adoption of a scanner bill that gives the public easy access to public documents.

We also will be playing defense on the Secretary of the State’s proposals to limit transparency on voter information and legislation in response to the state Supreme Court ruling that allowed the public release of documents related to the 2012 Newtown school shooting.

Annual meeting: Lombardi proposed deciding the location of the annual meeting so we can make an early reservation for our desired date in June. It was agreed CCFOI will once again have the annual meeting at Pond House Café, 1555 Asylum Ave., West Hartford. Lombardi will try for a reservation on the third Wednesday of the month, June 17.

Reminder: The Connecticut Foundation for Open Government is sponsoring “The Stories Behind the Biggest Stories of 2019 on Monday, Jan. 27, at the Lyceum Resource and Conference Center, 227 Lawrence St., Hartford. There is a reception at 5 p.m. and the program is from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Reporters and editors will discuss the stories, including the Jennifer Dulos case and proposals for highway tolls. A $10 donation is suggested.

Looking ahead: The next CCFOI meeting will be Feb. 19 at noon at Wood-n-Tap.