Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information
Minutes of Annual Meeting, June 17, 2015
The 60th anniversary luncheon of CCFOI was at the Hartford Club.
Bice Clemow award: Each year, this award honors a non-journalist. This year’s award went to Owen Eagan, chairman of the state Freedom of Information Commission.
Eagan said members of the FOI Commission “firmly believe in open, accessible government,” adding it is the FOI Act that allows the public to know what’s going on in government and make corrections if needed.
Stephen A. Collins award: Each year, this award goes to a journalist. This year it was shared by Carolyn Lumsden, opinion page editor of the Hartford Courant, and Christine Stuart, editor and owner of CTNewsJunkie.com.
Lumsden praised her staff and her publisher for their commitment to FOI issues. Stuart said the Collins award was especially appreciated as 2015 is the 10th anniversary of the founding of CTNewsJunkie.com.
Champion of Open Government awards: This year they went to Paul Bass, editor of the New Haven Independent; Marcia Chambers, senior research scholar in law and journalist in residence at Yale Law School; Dana Whalen, long-time news director of WTIC radio; and Rep. Ed Jutila, D-East Lyme. All were praised for their work on FOI issues.
Jutila, chairman of the legislature’s Government, Administration and Elections Committee, was key to the legislative agreement to expand the release of information on arrests. As Jim Smith said, “He got it done.” Jutila said the legislation was an example of the legislature at its best, with all stakeholders included in the process.
Legislative report: John Bailey, Colleen Murphy and Paula Pearlman reviewed the 2015 legislative session. Attached is Pearlman’s legislative report that was distributed at the meeting.
Treasurer’s report: Smith said there is a balance of $900, down from $15,167.32 in May, due to expenses.
Elections: Current officers were re-elected. They are President Jim Smith, Vice President Dick Ahles, Secretary Mary Connolly and Treasurer George Lombardi. Dan Klau was elected to fill the legislative chair vacancy.
Looking ahead: No meeting in July or August. Next meeting will be Sept. 16 at noon at Wood-n-Tap, 99 Sisson Ave., Hartford.