Public Meeting Resources
The following resources are made available here to assist board, commission and Representative Town Meeting (RTM) members with discharging their duties as elected or appointed Town Officers, Officials and RTM members, as well as to provide the public with an understanding of how public meetings operate.
All Town Board and Commission meetings and Representative Town Meetings, including subcommittee meetings and hearings, are considered public meetings and as such are open to the public. Public meetings are subject to the rules and regulations of the Freedom of Information Act and are conducted using Roberts Rules or Order.
Questions can be directed to the Town Clerk's Office or the Town's Freedom of Information Officer. Click here to view the Town Meetings Calendar.
The Town Clerk's Office distributes a Helpful Hints document and an FOI letter annually to all Board and Commission chairs. These documents include information on setting annual calendars, composing agendas, recording minutes and entering into executive session.
In March 2018 the Town of Fairfield held a Public Meetings Workshop for Board and Commission members. The workshop included presentations on the Freedom of Information Act, Roberts Rules and a panel presentation on holding successful public meetings. Click here to view a video of the workshop.
Freedom of Information
All board and commission meetings are subject to the regulations of the Freedom of Information Act. The following documents and links may be helpful in understanding the rules and regulations of the Freedom of Information Act:
Robert's Rules of Order defines parliamentary procedure, which is the name given to the tradition of rules of conduct and customs at meetings. It is a time-tested method of conducting business at meetings and public gatherings and is used to govern procedures and protocol at Town meetings.
Ethics and Conduct
Additionally, all board, commission and RTM members must take an Oath of Office prior to serving in any elected or appointed capacity. The following oaths, from the CT General Statutes, may be administered by the Town Clerk, a Justice of the Peace or any licensed Connecticut attorney, with the person raising his/her right hand. A record of the date and person issuing the oath is kept in the Town Clerk's office:
|You solemnly swear that you will faithfully discharge, according to law, your duties as ______ to the best of your abilities, so help you God.
|You solemnly and sincerely affirm that you will faithfully discharge, according to law, your duties as ______ to the best of your abilities, upon penalty of perjury.
Rules and regulations that govern the activities of a particular board or commission can be found in a variety of places including:
The decision to take or not to take public comment at a regular public meeting is made by the board's chair. Public comment must be heard at a public hearing.