Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

99-IB17: FOIA Complaint Against Town of Townsend

Civil Division-New Castle County December 22, 1999
Ms. Sharon Yealey
P.O. Box 151
Townsend, DE 19734-0151
RE: FOIA Complaint/Town of Townsend
Dear Ms. Yealey:
On October 27, 1999, you filed a Freedom of Information Complaint with our office against the Town of Townsend alleging two violations, one dealing with the declaration of a trick or treat night and the other relating to mandatory trash collection. The issue relating to the trick or treat night was addressed previously in my letter of October 29, 1999.
By my aforesaid letter of October 27, 1999, I requested that the Town Council respond to your complaint that the Town had came to a resolution relating to mandatory trash collection without proper public notice. Specifically, I asked “. . . whether the agenda contained a notice that the issue would be discussed and voted upon at the Council meeting. If the Council believes that the issue was not one that required agenda notice, please explain the basis for that belief.
By letter of November 22, 1999, the Town Council, through its attorney, notified me that “[t]he Town has not taken an official action on that issue. They will be holding a public hearing and then taking official Council action. It is my understanding that they do intend to make trash collection mandatory.” In a subsequent letter, I requested that the Town Council provide me with the agenda and minutes for the meeting of October 6, 1999. I received the Town Council’s reply including the minutes and agenda for October 6, 1999, on December 14, 1999.
Under new business on the agenda, the Council included item IX. (C) “Mandatory Trash Collection For All Residents.” The agenda was properly posted in accordance with 29 Del.C. §10004.
The minutes show that there was a full discussion of the issue of mandatory trash collection and that upon motion made and passed by a majority of the Council, mandatory collection was adopted and procedures established to have the mandatory trash collection commence on January 1, 2000. A copy of the agenda and Council minutes are enclosed.
Since the only Freedom of Information Act issue presented to this office by your complaint was whether there was adequate legal notice for any Town action relating to mandatory trash collection, we find that the agenda and minutes meet all of the requirements set by the Freedom of Information Act. Having found that no violation occurred, no further action will be taken upon your complaint of October 27, 1999.
Very truly yours,
Michael J. Rich
State Solicitor
cc: Clifford B. Hearn, Jr., Esquire (w/o encl.)
W. Michael Tupman, Deputy Attorney General (w/o encl.)
Mr. Phillip G. Johnson

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