Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hall wants all Council / constituent contacts controlled by Town Hall

Chairman Hall apparently wants all contacts by town residents to be controlled by Town Hall and retained under the Freedom of Information Act. It seems a bit much to me. As well, I'm curious when and who further defined the FOI Act. Over the past few years, I've been repeatedly told that FOI is unclear with regard to email.Tim White

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since this is your blog and you receive comments, questions, and sometimes requests from town residents, perhaps you should print a hard copy for the council and have it read into the record?

Now that I'd like to see.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like he specifically targeting you, Tim.

I agree with 10:11, perhaps you should read thus blog to the TC. Maybe they will realize that there are many people who are frustrated with them.

tim white said...

10:11... haha... yeah... and then when people start to hear the comments:

1) Tim White is an idiot.
2) Tim White lives in another town.

Tim White is this, Tim White is that... maybe we can ask the FBI to investigate all those "anonymous" comments. I think it would be interesting to see how closely intertwined those commenters are with the two dozen people in town who happen to represent the Cheshire's Political Class.

Any chance most of those comments are coming from the same people who feel threatened (either financially or via their insatiable appetite for power and titles) by my questions?

Nah. I'm sure those are disinterested parties.

tim white said...

Those are some of the comments that have repeatedly been posted on this blog. And for the record... I live at 29 Tanglewood Circle... in case you wanna stop by sometime to see where I'm sleeping.

Anonymous said...

I'd guess that they can require anything received or written by town staff be entered into public record. Town staff reports to the Council.

But I don't see how they can legally require anything received or written by individual Council members to be entered into public record. Council members are elected directly by the voters and are reportable only to them.

This looks pretty outrageous. Correspondence between elected officials and their constituents is probably protected.

You should consult the Sec. of State or AG's office on this.

Anonymous said...

The Dear Leader now wants “transparency”! Not transparency of his verbal dealings with developers and his other favorites, but public revelation of letters from ordinary citizens to their elected officials.

Big Brother is watching. All hail the son of Kim Il Sung!

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of Congressmen, state legislators, or elected council members in other towns being required to turn over their constituent correspondence in the name of FOI. This can only have a chilling effect on communications between voters and their elected officials. It can’t be legal.

the five dear leaders said...

trust us on this one. we need to monitor your mail to ensure correctness of thought. we know what is best for you in all things -- turf, the pool, no-bid contracts, increased taxes and spending. now we want to know what you are thinking and writing.

Anonymous said...

Read this into the council minutes:

"I am wee todded
I am sofa king wee todded"

Anonymous said...

"... the town attorney and the town manager have suggested a process . . ."

WHY?

Should not the whole town council discuss this at an open meeting before a significant policy is adapted?

Maybe it's time to provide TC members with mail boxes, full time secretarial, and internet support too. It might be the only way to totally CONTROL and track things which just might fall under the requirements of FOIA.

Anonymous said...

To the Dear Leader
& his gang of 5:

"Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole (town); you who were deputized here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves grievous! So! In the name of God, just go!”
-- Cromwell, 1653

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of thing you could expect from a communists or dictators. Another step toward stifling the free flow of thought between the citizens and their elected representative.

Right now I feel free to voice my concerns or offer ideas by email to my council person. I believe that this should be confidential as I do not want to be attacked by people who do not share my ideas. Any idea I have, I trust my representative to agree or disagree with anything I have to say and to take whatever action or no action on my behalf.

If this is developed, I expect that each council person will record every conversation they have with a resident, whether they are a developer, realtor or anyone else, and that this be made part of the recorded record that can be accessed by anyone.

As for the council meetings, why can't we have access to the executive sessions and from what I can see the the minutes of the town meetings are not complete and do not give an accurate record. Record the public meetings accurately before you move to stiffle communications between representatives and their constituents.

We've lost too much freedom and control of our government already, stop this craziness.

Anonymous said...

Hall is trying to put this in legalize form, he should be carful what he asks for.

According to the CT FOI Act:
Sec. 1-200 Definitions
(5) “Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

This means converstation will have to be recorded, whether it's over the phone or over a drink at Yellow Fins.

Lets see if they do that.

Anonymous said...

Does this give anyone else the chills?? This is communist USSR tactics. Time for a BIG change in Town leadership,I mean dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he was thinking about the old documents he kept on the Norton Boiler or on the Richmond Glen fleecing, oops I mean easement.

He wants transparency?
Then open up to your relationships with these developers, both personal and professional.

I will be the first person at town hall requestiong his full disclosure if he and the others have the courage to admit their relationships.

Anonymous said...

"To the Dear Leader
& his gang of 5: . . .June 08, 2009 12:35 PM"

Whoops, no longer Gang of 5, now Gang of 7 - - the 5 tc Democrats + town attorney + town manager.

Town voters need to make a change out come November.

Anonymous said...

Can you say "Obama-complex?"

"...please bring a copy of any and all correspondence and documents you receive..."

Why is this so non-specific? He should have had me proof-read it first. It brings up more questions than answers.

There's not even a timeframe included. Does this mean those which you have ever received? Does it include Christmas cards and the like? And how is Hall going to document correspondence on his Facebook page?

Anonymous said...

I dont believe that correspondence taking place via this blog falls under FOIA. If that is the case, than every single email sent to and from every public servant and every conversation,phone call etc also would be subject to this. In that case, I would expect Mr. Hall to produce such information immediately. Fact is, you can exchange email with every member of the public and they have no right to it as far as I am concerned.

Matt Hall apparently has a Jesus complex.....wait.....thats an insult to Jesus for sure....

Anonymous said...

i don't understand what precipitated this and think you should ask,Tim. Also ask if this is done in other towns and what are the parameters (Christmas Cards?). Who asked for this and why? Is there a difference between a politcal purpose and a governmental one; ie can people talk confidentially to their elected official for a political purpose (how to throw the bums out) as opposed to a governmental one (how can I get my road repaved?) What does the law say about this? GET ANSWERS please!

who needs the 1st amendment? said...

Thank you Dear Leaders Hall and Milone for monitoring our contacts with elected officials. Who needs a First Amendment when we have you to monitor, correct, and manage us?!

North Korean national anthem:

Liberator of the working people, our saviour
Democratic new Korea, great Sun.
We rally around the 20 Principles
Everywhere in North Korea is spring

Oh- Our brilliant and beloved General.
Oh- Our exalted leader
General Kim Il-sung!

Anonymous said...

This has to include every single person serving in any capacity, all commissions, department heads and all school administrator.

Why can't we have an attorney that makes sense rather than the gopher we have now, who rules that everything that Milone and the Dem town council asks for is legal.

Time for Milone to move on.

Anonymous said...

comparing Hall & Milone to the North Koreans is unfair -- to the North Koreans.

Anonymous said...

I think the developers, realtors and other special interest groups run this town, they are the most likely ones that are asking for all information in any form be centralized.

They want to shut us up so that they can make more money. .

Anonymous said...

8:56 p.m. ; They want to shut us up so that they can make more money. .

The council chair and the town attorney cannot shut you up or more directly stop you from posting on an open blog. Cheshire politicians may view themselves as quite important but in comparison to the world wide web they don't even measure up to a pip squeak status.

On the other hand the town attorney might be able to flex his muscle to stifle freedom of speech a bit. Sadly, in the end the attorney has one fantastic gig ongoing. First he'll bill us for this gem and if it begins to implode he'll just bill us more to protect us from ourselves as we whine and complain.

November can't come too quick this year.

Anonymous said...

This is a direct assault on the Constitutional "right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances", and most chilling to our basic 1st Amendment rights.

Flip/Flop said...

I believe this is called disclosure. You all bitch and moan that the developers run this town. This info request means Hall has to disclose relationships that he is accused of having. Tim is becoming a flip/flop politician. First he wants open government but fights it when he gets it. Oh wait, he is against it because the Dems want it.

Anonymous said...

Tim is the most open of all the TC members we have.
He has never hidden anything.

Lets see how open Hall, Ecke,Altieris, et.al. will be. They have not recused themselves from votes when they have direct relationships with people involved. They take advantage of the tax payers for the benefit of the chosen few who run this town. We, the tax payers, are sick and tired of this treatment.

The Dems need to start being open and honest, that is when we will see this town recover, until then, they will drive us deeper into debt.

Anonymous said...

Hall is pushing for open government and now you are against it. Tim hypes for "good and open government" but when the dem leader agrees, he is against it. Another case of fighting between the parties. Flip and Flop
How do you know Tim has never hidden anything? If it is hidden, you will not know.

Anonymous said...

"Hall is pushing for open government and now you are against it."

Wow, you are delusional.

The only reason Hall would push for it now is because he will be out in November.

That is not open government. That is not what the FOI Act is for.

Tell Hall to be honest and admit relationships he has with certain developers and their relatives, who he has voted for items that directly benefit them. That is open government.

Anonymous said...

"This info request means Hall has to disclose relationships"

Give me a break, Hall is a lawyer. Doesn't that say enough. He wants full disclosure from of everyone else, but do you really think he would disclose his relationships. Can't think of a time that he recused himself when the subject involve developers or favorite contractors.

Anonymous said...

but if he has to disclose communications, the council and public know where he stands with the developers.

How do we know Tim has nothing to hide if it is hidden?

Anonymous said...

Tim is not in a job that developers will envy. They can't throw favors his way the way they can with Hall.

When you are a private attorney in this town, there can be a lot of back door deals that none of us would be aware of.

What can Tim really hide??

Anonymous said...

this can go on forever: How do you know Tim isnt hiding anything? You are going to deny Tim has anything to hide. yada yada yada.... At the end of the day, people enter politics for one main goal: self gain.

Anonymous said...

"At the end of the day, people enter politics for one main goal: self gain."

EXACTLY!
Now you understand why we need Hall, Ecke, Altieri. et. al. out of there.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget tim

Anonymous said...

Someone is spamming “flip-flop” and “Tim is against transparency” all over this blog. NOTICE HOW the spammer just throws out these clich├ęs and does not address the substance of the issue.

Tim and other elected officials have good, principled reasons to oppose this Hall/Milone/TA proposal --

(1) on First Amendment grounds: the chilling effect it would have on citizens communicating candidly with their elected officials. (The town probably has the right to demand copies of all official correspondence from its own staff, but elected officials are accountable only to the voters);

(2) on logistical grounds: the administrative nightmare and costs of receiving, processing, and storing every bit of correspondence from hundreds of elected and appointed town board members; and

(3) on grounds of precedence: no other city, town, or state monitors contacts between citizens and their elected officials as Hall/Milone/TA are proposing. Nowhere else interprets FOI this way. Why only Cheshire?

Hall & Milone could care less about ‘transparency’. They want to score political points at great expense to the town and our constitutional right to unimpeded contact with elected officials.