Gerckens: I Was Wrong About Meeting Minutes


I felt I needed to address the Gerckens: Derby Needs To Follow Open Government Rules story as quickly as possible to set the record straight.

Several times during the January BOA meeting, I used the term Minutes as in, “I’m looking for the Minutes of the Meeting.”

I should have realized that “Minutes” is a buzzword and causes lots of people to scramble in an effort to prove the Minutes were available.

I regret that I stated, I was looking for the Meeting Minutes.

I have every reason to believe that the Meeting Minutes were available in the proper timeframe.

In fact, I’m sure the Superintendent’s Office could provide emails and other backup documentation to prove the Minutes were indeed available.

What I should have said was I was interested in obtaining the audio recording of a meeting that I could not attend. Below is the timeline of events that caused me to speak:

On 12/16/2016, I requested the audio tapes of the 12/7/2016 Baseball Field Relocation meeting.

  • I made a follow-up request with the Town/City Clerk on 1/4/2017 and again on 1/12/2017.
  • I placed a phone call to the Town/City Clerk on 1/18/2017 and submitted a strongly worded email to him on 1/19/2017.
  • I received a response that he had requested the recording from the superintendent’s office but had not received the recording. I asked him to try one more time.
  • On 1/19/2017, I received the audio tape of the 12/7/2016 meeting. (34 days).

I accept the explanation given me that they had trouble figuring out a way to send such a large audio file. I accept that there is now a procedure in place for these types of requests.

Finally, I accept full responsibility for stating I was looking for Minutes, when in fact, I was looking for an audio recording.

I sincerely hope, my choice of words did not cause the Superintendent’s Office any embarrassment or put a cloud over the Baseball Field Relocation Project.

I remain committed to doing whatever is best for Derby.

Thank you.

Alderman Art Gerckens


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