The players have changed, the behind the scene dealings obviously have not..its a sad but true story of the administration of Region One. I have just been told that we can NOT tape tonight’s meeting with parents. Here is the email string. This all came AFTER Pam had agreed to let us tape the meeting (and several of the parents also agreed) at a little after 9:00 AM this morning. This is NOT inclusive, this is NOT transparent. And as Tom Hennick says in his response …”With the caveat that my opinion is not a formal ruling by the FOI Commission”. Read the email chain from the bottom up.
|1:22 PM (2 hours ago)|
Good afternoon Marshall,
I have received an inquiry regarding a meeting held by the Assistant Superintendent as a public meeting. Please see Tom Hennick’s response to our inquiry regarding FOIA regulations. This is not a public meeting and will not be recorded as such.
Thank you for your assistance in our communication effort. Dr. Vogel will provide ongoing updates as the process progresses.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Pam Vogel <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 1:15 PM
Subject: Fwd: Our Question
To: Region One School District <firstname.lastname@example.org>
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Hennick, Thomas A <Thomas.Hennick@ct.gov>
Date: Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 1:11 PM
Subject: RE: Our Question
To: Pam Vogel <email@example.com>
With the caveat that my opinion is not a formal ruling by the FOI Commission, I would have to say that a school official meeting with a group of parents is not a meeting of a public agency subject to the FOI Act. If this were a formal subcommittee established by a public agency or public official, then I probably would feel differently.
I hope this is helpful.
From: Pam Vogel [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2017 12:11 PM
To: Hennick, Thomas A <Thomas.Hennick@ct.gov>
Subject: Our Question
The nature of the meeting tonight is to discuss some possible school schedules for the high school.
We have requested that a group of parents (we have nine now) meet to discuss options for a schedule.
There are no board members involved.
Please let us know if this is a public meeting? We have received a request to film the meeting.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Dr. Martin Luther King
Dr. Pam Vogel
Assistant Superintendent, Regional School District No.1
246 Warren Turnpike Road
Falls Village, CT 06031
This is just foolishness. What possible objection could there be to filming a discussion about a schedule, especially since this seems to be a “hot” topic among the members of the community? Reneging on the promise to let filming go forward and trying to use the EXCUSE that it’s not a meeting in the eyes of the Freedom of Information law and therefore permission to film can be denied is blatantly stupid. The filming of the session could certainly be done without violating any Freedom of Information laws. This decision stinks to high heaven and implies that there is something to be hidden by Central Office administration. In addition, to allow the filming of the meeting would have given protection to Assistant Superintendent Vogel and the parents who attended the meeting as there could have been no doubt about exactly what was discussed and would have prevented the rumor mill from coloring the proceedings. This is just another example of the dozens and dozens of poor decisions and poor judgement from central office administrators. What was done is not in the best interest of the school community in general. And they wonder why a vast majority of the public can only wonder – “What are they thinking?”