Post Scribe Prods Development Authority For Open Meetings

Nice job by Brian Lockhart, CT Post. His story below:

When Mayor Bill Finch recently announced his administration was partnering with the corporate community to revive the Bridgeport Economic Development Corp. (BEDCO, which employed Finch in his pre-mayoral life) it was uncertain whether the entity should abide by state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws.

In other words, should BEDCO’s meetings and business, within reason, be open to the public and the press?

On the one hand BEDCO is a private nonprofit partnership between the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and the city. On the other, the city is a public entity, has representatives on the BEDCO board and the Finch administration is contributing $40,000 to the BEDCO budget.

I’d asked the friendly folks at the state Freedom of Information Commission (well, friendly as long as you don’t mess with the FOIA) for advice on BEDCO. They said I’d probably have a decent case BEDCO should follow Freedom of Information requirements but it would not be certain until our newspapers filed a formal complaint with the commission.

They suggested I make a friendly request to the city and Bridgeport Regional Business Council that the BEDCO board in the spirit of openness comply with the FOIA. I did and they did.

So here for all of you BEDCO watchers is the agenda for the board’s August 7 meeting. This paperwork has been filed with the City Clerk and will be available in that office going forward.

———

M E M O R A N D U M

TO: BEDCO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DEBORAH CAVINESS

EDWARD LAVERNOICH

DAVID LEVINE

KENNETH OPPEDISANO

EZEQUIEL SANTIAGO

GARRETT SHEAHAN

PAUL TIMPANELLI

THOMAS WALSH

ADAM WOOD

FROM: STEPHANIE LINDLEY

DATE: JULY 26, 2012

MEETING NOTICE

Please be advised that there will be a BEDCO Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, at 5:00 p.m., at the Bridgeport Regional Business Council Offices, 10 Middle Street, 14th Floor, Conference Room “A”, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Enclosed for your preview are the draft meeting agenda and minutes from the last meeting. A complete meeting package will be sent to you at a later date.

BEDCO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

5:00 PM

Bridgeport Regional Business Council Offices

10 Middle Street, 14th Floor

Bridgeport, CT 06604

Draft Meeting Agenda

I. Approval of July 9 Meeting Minutes

II. Confirmation of July 9 Board Actions/RESOLUTION

III. Freedom of Information Compliance

IV. Corporate Status

V. Report of By Laws Committee/RESOLUTION

VI. Review of Staff Job Description Draft/Next Steps

VII. Status of Renewable Energy Park Application

VIII. Status of Minority Contract Initiative

IX. Status of Quarterly DECD Report

X. Don Eversley Remarks

XI. Seaview Industrial Park Update/Funding/Meeting Request/Next Steps

XII. Other Business

XIII. Meeting Calendar/RESOLUTION

XIV. Adjournment

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9 comments

  1. BEDCO in recent times has seemed to rhyme with ‘DEADCO’ in terms of newsworthy activity. Of course, it is possible I am not up to date on steady progress towards economic development goals by that organization over the recent years. However, the appointment of David Kooris to OPED has also been accompanied by news that the most recent OPED seat holder was moving on to BEDCO leadership with City funding.

    Is $40,000 the limit of City support? Is that a new expense for the 2012-13 year or is BEDCO a regular recipient of City support? What is Don Eversley’s job title and what are his duties, expectations, and future evaluations (by the business community) to be based upon? I like OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT in the public sphere and that is anywhere public money is being spent. Time will tell.

    1. Perhaps a 6-pack of Red Bull might help. If he irreverently falls asleep at this meeting as he’s done so many times at other meetings in the past, he should be fired on the spot.

  2. So long as the taxpayers are footing the $40,000 in the BEDCO budget and that dynamo Don Eversley’s salary, it damn well better comply with any FOIA requests. Geez.

  3. The BEDCO Board of Directors looks like the Usual Suspects to me. Good job by Lockhart in forcing their hand. I doubt if he had not inquired that they would be so “open & transparent.”

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