On the decision of the State Freedom of Information Commission following a hearing held in Hartford in response to my request for information from town officials:
Following the law and process, which was crafted in the 1970s to ensure public access to public information, I filed a request from the Town of Trumbull in September of last year. The process is settled law and was intended to prevent abuses of authority as citizens are frequently at a disadvantage when gaining the cooperation of Town Hall. Information is a key aspect to public decisions and the public at large cannot form an opinion, in a democracy, in a charged political environment, where secrecy is used to mask incompetence.
On Friday, counsel for the defense, informed me that the town had no intention of allowing public access for the documents or recollection being requested, which prompted a hearing in the Capitol City, between the state of Connecticut and the Town of Trumbull which is per the law.
Defense counsel, late Friday afternoon, filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the complaint was insufficiently worded, that motion was denied, handing the First Selectman his first major political setback, who is running for a third term in the fall.
As I obviously was requesting documents and or recollections of the First Selectman (as I was told he was the sole person in Town Government who was privy to the information), the Commission rejected the Town Attorney's spurious claims. Republican Herbst is beginning to show himself both inexperienced and an adversary of the rights of the people.
I am seeking reasonable information regarding the cancellation of the annual concert, which was abruptly cancelled for the second year in a row, resulting in a considerable penalty for severance of contract. The concert has become a community uniting event and has been a fixture in Trumbull since the 1970's. Last year, Michael Bolton was set to perform, the cancelation inflicted damage to both reputation while appearing in bad faith.
The concert series was voted on, in the 70s, as an activity which the Town would manage, for the purpose of providing entertainment for the people as a thank you for their loyalty as taxpayers, and was originally offered for free.
This past year, tickets for the show were being sold at $40 for lawn seats at the Indian Ledge pavillion and bandshell, a public park.
Among the documents requested include; information outlining the total tickets purchased, how many of those were refunded as well as information pertaining to concessions contracts and whether that was placed out for bid. The incoming State Representative currently manages concessions for the event, although it is unclear whether it is through license or exclusive bid, Town officials have been unresponsive in the matter.
Democracy is about choices, the elites have made theirs. I have not written to request a withdrawal of the complaint, in fact, I needn't be a party to it as the FOI has the authority to proceed without an applicant. I merely expressed a desire to no longer remain a party, if that held no consequences on the matter at hand. The Freedom of Information Commission can defend the rights of the people if they wanted to. They can be objective, if they want to.
They never had any intention of either objectivity or the defence of the people, or they would have acted before the new year. As a matter of fact, I emailed the ombudsman on Saturday so that he would tell me the result of the hearing, obviously I want the matter to proceed. If not FOI should be disbanded for they create the air of openness while creating a structure to take it away. Trumbull should provide the documents I have requested. I plan to make them available to the public, as they should have been from the beginning.