Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee
Van Block Facility
March 24, 2010
Members Present: State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Public Records Administrator LeAnn Power, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Building Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; State Archivist Mark H. Jones, CSL; Joyce P. Mascena, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Therese Pac, Bristol Town Clerk; Carla Pomprowicz, Hebron Town Clerk; Ginger Salisbury, Southbury Town Clerk; Antoinette Spinelli, Waterbury City Clerk; Lisa Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; and Sandi Wieleba, East Hampton Town Clerk.
Members Absent: Nancy Bray, Colchester Town Clerk; Joseph Quartiero, Torrington Town Clerk; Patty Strauss, Westport Town Clerk; and Louisa Trakas, Plainfield Town Clerk.
Others Present: Public Records Archivist Lizette Pelletier, CSL; Field Archivist Kathy Makover, CSL
I. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m.
II. The members reviewed the minutes of the November 10, 2009 meeting. There were two minor grammatical corrections. Joyce Mascena made a motion to approve as corrected. Therese Pac seconded the motion. The motion passed with Carla Pomprowicz, Lisa Valenti and Mary Louise Jensen abstaining as they were not at the last meeting.
III. There were no introductions.
IV. Fiscal Report
A. Terri Consoli, Fiscal Services Supervisor, was not able to attend the meeting. The State Librarian announced that the State Library has hired a new Fiscal Officer who will be starting on April 1st. Mark Smith has 25 years of experience at a number of the larger state agencies.
The State Librarian stated that the revenue numbers indicate that the fund may end the year ahead of last year. There should be sufficient funds available for all targeted grant applications as not every town applies for a grant. The governor’s proposed deficit mitigation plan does not take any money from the fund. The legislature has not yet presented its own plan. The Connecticut Town Clerks’ Association will send out an email asking its members to contact individual legislators asking them not to take money from the Historic Documents Preservation Account. Kathy Makover will forward to Joyce Mascena a copy of an email from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation encouraging people to contact their legislators to oppose the governor’s plan to take $5 million dollars from historic restoration and other funds established through the Community Investment Act.
V. Old Business
1. All towns are up to date on monthly payments owed through December 2009. There are three towns with outstanding payments for January 2010. The State Librarian recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Attorney General’s Office to create an expedited method of processing grant contracts for all State Library grants. He thanked Kathy Makover for her work for the historical grants on this issue and helping to draft the contract templates. Kathy stated that the new process should reduce the turn around time on contract approvals by three to four weeks.
2. FY2010 Grants: All grant applications have been processed and paid. Applicants are starting to submit final reports.
3. FY2011 Grants: The staff has received fifty applications to date. April 30th is the deadline for cycle 1 so the staff expects that number to increase significantly.
B. Workshops & Training:
1. The workshop on microfilming and digitization presented by Donia Conn from NEDCC in conjunction with the Connecticut Certified Municipal Clerk Institute on December 4, 2009 was very successful. The evaluation forms were overwhelmingly positive. Therese Pac said she received a number of positive emails from the participants as well. She thanked the State Library for its contribution towards financial support for the workshop.
2. The committee discussed possible topics and options for the 2010 workshop. The town clerks feel that an introductory level preservation course would be useful for the new town clerks and serve as a refresher course for more experienced clerks. One suggestion was to partner again with the Town Clerk’s School, in December, on another education class.
Another suggestion was to have a half day class on maps including standards for recording, preservation, and definition of maps, and other related issues at the town clerks’ September conference. It could be offered in the Friday morning session.
Jane Cullinane also suggested a session on environmental issues. The staff will talk with the incoming Education Committee Co-chair Sharon Miller and Association President Joe Camposeo to determine which option they prefer.
The committee also discussed the possibility of taping the sessions to make them available to town clerks or other town staff who cannot attend. The tapes may not meet IIMC certification standards for credit but would still be useful. The State Librarian discussed the possibility of webinars which led into a discussion of the “Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records” [IPER] project. Lizette Pelletier sent out an email recently announcing an online “Introduction to Records and Information Management” course from the Council of State Archivists that is being hosted on the State Library website. This is a prerequisite for two webinars offered in 2011 on emergency management and disaster planning for records. IIMC has approved the courses for 9 credits. Joyce Mascena stated that she plans to present the introductory course to Glastonbury department managers at their monthly meetings.
C. Map Regulations: The revised map regulations were published in the Connecticut Law Journal on February 23rd. The revisions clarified which items can be filed on the land records by which design professionals and aligned the regulations with the current statutes.
The Public Records Administrator received a letter from Attorney Edward Hill of Robinson and Cole last August regarding the filing of graphical representations on the land records. She has requested an opinion from the Attorney General’s office and is still waiting for a response.
The State Librarian would like to explore the possibility of changing the statutes to indicate which items can or cannot be filed on the land records, similar to Florida’s statutes. Requests to record vital records on the land records are a significant problem despite a letter from the Department of Public Health prohibiting the practice. Further research into other states’ statutes is necessary.
D. Real Property Electronic Recording Committee: The committee held its first meeting last November. Staff has been tasked with researching standards and processes in other states. Earlier today, the Public Records Advisory Committee of the Town Clerks’ Association and State Library staff had a conference call with the Recording Office of Hillsborough County in Florida. The next Real Property Electronic Recording Committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for late April. The State Librarian hopes to hire someone with experience in writing regulations to oversee that task.
E. Probate Court Records: State Archivist Mark Jones reported on the consolidation of the probate courts and the transfer of records to the State Archives. State Library staff has been meeting with the Probate Court Administrator and his staff to develop regulations regarding disposition of the records when it is determined which courts will close. The State Archives will be taking in all available probate files up to 1976. Library staff will be participating in eight informational roundtables with probate clerks and judges in April. The Probate Court Administrator may be invited to speak at the Town Clerk’s Conference in the fall.
F. No other old business.
VI. New Business
A. The State Librarian reported on the status of a number of bills before the legislature. HB5031 which included a provision that the Real Property Electronic Recording Committee review municipal records with a retention of 20 years and reduce the retention by five years died in committee. There is a need to educate municipal administrators on records management and retention.
SB30, which would amend CGS 11-8 to give the Public Records Administrator authority over the judicial and legislative branches, is still alive but the State Librarian does not think it will pass as the Judicial Department is not in favor of the bill. He supports the bill in order to document the disposition process for the records of those branches.
B. The grant staff will have a table top presentation on the grant program at the legislative reception on April 15, 2010 from 5-7 p.m.
C. LeAnn proposed meeting dates of July 28th and October 20th. The town clerks preferred the 6th for the October date.
VII. The State Librarian adjourned the meeting at 2:10 p.m.
VIII. The next meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on July 28, 2010 at the Van Block Facility. Everyone is welcome to share a brown bag lunch prior to the meeting.
Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
March 24, 2010