Ledyard school board to discuss FOI issues

Ledyard - In a special meeting at 6 p.m. today, the Ledyard Board of Education will enter an executive session to discuss Freedom of Information Act issues with its attorney. An information session about the school board's responsibilities under FOI law will follow the private discussion.

The meeting comes a few weeks after Town Council Chairwoman Linda Davis expressed concern about the school board's "lack of process and adherence" to the FOI requirements. Davis sent a letter to Board of Education Chairwoman Julia Cronin on July 14 describing practices that did not conform to FOI requirements and asking the board to schedule a training session with the state Freedom of Information Commission.

Davis, after discussing the school board's actions with the FOI Commission's Public Education Officer Tom Hennick, said the board filled a vacancy in "a questionable manner" on June 18 and considered going into executive session to discuss an item not on the agenda on July 10. Both were special meetings of the school board.

In addition, the letter Davis sent Cronin said there "has also been a lack of attention to the budget and authorization process and a consistent deficiency in meeting documentation," as well as a failure to post some meeting records within the time limit required by FOI law.

Davis said these issues "do not contribute to the public's trust in government" and could result in costly lawsuits. She said the school board has been encouraged to participate in FOI training sessions in the past but "has shown little interest."

In response, Cronin said she would hold the conversation with the board's attorney and information session during today's special meeting. She also met with Davis and Mayor John Rodolico to discuss the issue on July 17.

"The Board believes strongly in developing and maintaining procedures that contribute to a positive working environment and adhere to legal requirements," said Cronin in her letter.


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