At a recent meeting of the town’s Operation Planning Committee, Board of Education Vice Chairman Betsy Hagerty-Ross mentioned the Board of Ed is consideration publishing a log of Freedom of Information Act requests.

Members of the Operations Planning Committee include First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, Planning & Zoning Chairman John Sini, Board of Finance Chairman Jon Zagrodzky, Board of Ed Chairman Michael Harman, RTM Moderator Seth Morton, and State Rep. Terrie Wood.

In the conversation prompted by a question from Sini, Hagerty-Ross noted that other towns already publish this log.

Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.

Stevenson also added that perhaps the town side could consolidate the published log with requests from its side.

Hagerty-Ross said the board and district are currently discussing the possibility of publishing the log with attorneys.

Thomas Hennick, public education officer for the state’s FOI commission, said  “nothing in the FOI Act would prohibit that because the request are indeed records.”

“I don’t think our commission would take a position either way,” he said

Sini said he “raised the question to the BOE’s vice chair because I think it is something that should be seriously considered by both the Board of Education and Board of Selectmen.”

Following the meeting, Stevenson said “we are still discussing this internally. If we do go forward, we would likely make an announcement about it.”

Harman didn’t respond to a follow-up request for comment.

Dr. Dan Brenner, superintendent of schools, had an away message response because he was out of the office.

Included in his away message was “I will be out of the office through August 7 with limited to no cell service or access to a computer.  If this is a Freedom of Information Request please forward it to Nadine Vasil and Marge Cion.”

Watch the whole meeting from Darien TV 79  here.

editor@darientimes.com