Sherman library must abide by FOI rules
Published 7:03 pm, Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Starting in June, the Sherman Library Board of Trustees will follow Freedom of Information requirements set forward by the state.
Meeting notices will be posted in the town clerk's office, board meetings may be attended by the public and meeting minutes will be available to the public by FOI request.
Mr. Weber filed the complaint in June 2011 after his request for Library Board of Trustee minutes was denied by the library board.
"I don't view this as an attack on the library," Mr. Weber said. "I took this action to assure proper procedures were followed by the library board."
Mr. Weber said he had concerns about FOI requirements not being complied with by the board since his membership in 2006 through 2008.
Residents attempting to enter the library during board meetings were refused entrance, he said.
When his attempts to obtain minutes of meetings in which the planned library expansion was discussed in 2011 were denied, he said he took action.
State and local governmental funding of the library was found to be high, given the selectmen's annual inclusion of funding for the library in the town budget and the over $1 million in construction grants the library has received from the state.
In addition, the $1 million bonding package recently approved will be repaid by taxpayers in the town, the decision reads.
"We are disappointed with the decision. We've always felt we were transparent," said Karen Cushnie, Sherman Library Board of Trustees president. "We believe there are some gray areas with all of this."
"We don't feel the library falls under the same category as a public agency," she added. "But we will comply."
Sherman First Selectman Clay Cope said Tuesday that, during his seven years on the library's Board of Trustees, he felt the board was "transparent in its dealings."
"While I was on the board, anyone who wanted to see our financials, our minutes, was always able to," Mr. Cope said. "I know Mr. Weber has a different opinion about this than I do.
"This question came up under the last board president," he concluded.