Town officials had two Freedom of Information training sessions on Monday in the aftermath of losing a decision on Steve Ballok's complaint he got "the run around" after asking for the town attorney's invoices. The commission ruled that the town was in violation of the FOI Act when Ballok was told all information requests have to go through the First Selectman's Office.
First Selectman Steve Vavrek, a Republican, defended the way Ballok's request was handled, saying he was following the policy of his predecessor, Democrat Thomas Buzi. At Monday night's Town Council meeting, Susan Koneff, the Democratic Registrar of Voters, criticized that stance.
"So in other words, he's saying, 'Don't blame me,'" Koneff said during a public comment session. "Mr. Vavrek has been with me in past FOI meetings. It's time for Mr. Vavrek to stop blaming previous administrations and to take responsibility, instead of blaming everyone but himself for everything."
Vavrek defended his position.
"There is no blame. I did find it was written in 2009," he said of Buzi's policy. "It was knocked down in 2007, so I don't know why it was written in 2009. My problem is not to blame, it's to fix problems in the past."
On Wednesday morning, Vavrek clarified that nobody ever told him the town lost a similar decision in 2007, so he wondered why the policy was written in 2009.
In defending how open his administration is, Vavrek said the Yankee Institute for Public Policy recently ranked the town's website Monroect.org No. 46 out of Connecticut's 169 municipalities.