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Letter: Group Cheers Fairfield's Open Government

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act (CT FOI), enacted in 1975 and refined several times since then, promotes transparency in government. It protects citizens’ rights to know, requiring government bodies to give adequate notice of proposed actions, to hold open meetings with all votes taken in public, to publish meeting minutes, and to make public records accessible.

After observing that adherence to the CT FOI Act by Fairfield’s many boards and commissions has sometimes been wanting, the Fairfield League of Women Voters sent a letter to First Selectman Michael Tetreau requesting that a training seminar be held for all town boards and commissions.

The league is very pleased to report that our request was honored. And in a big way. A training session was conducted twice in early February. Over 50 invitees attended and feedback has been very positive.

In the spring, the filmed training will be available on FairTV Public Access Channel 79, on http://fairtv.pegcentral , and as a DVD in the Fairfield Library. The Fairfield league’s pamphlet, "Know Your Rights to Open Government in Fairfield" is available on lwfct.org/Fairfield .

The league salutes and thanks Mr. Tetreau for enthusiastically promoting open government in Fairfield; Deputy Chief of Staff Jennifer Carpenter for organizing the two events; Town Clerk Betsy Browne and Assistant Attorney Eileen Kennelly for presenting the FOI requirements and the highlights of Roberts’ Rules at the two sessions; and all those who attended and give so much of their time throughout the year to public service. Transparency in Fairfield government has taken a huge leap forward.

— Charlotte Garrell, spokesperson, Fairfield League of Women Voters

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