Joe Greeley

Interesting post, there are several good topics here. Among other things, I’m an elected/volunteer town official here in eastern Mass., we have approx 28,000 citizens. Mass.,like most states, has an open meeting law, along with a Public Records Law. If either of these are violated or ‘skirted’. the route for us is to appeal to the specific committee, then the town clerk, then the governing Board of Selectmen. If that doesn’t work, the next course would be to appeal to the state’s Secretary of State. Someone could also add a warrant article to be reviewed & voted on by a quarterly town meeting, this article could propose an amendment to the town’s bylaws, thus forcing the formality that you may need.As for the method of recording the meeting, however it’s done, the record must be made available to the public in some form, in a ‘reasonable period of time’. The smaller committees, or ad-hoc committees, are made up of mostly volunteers, and could include folks that are less aware of public meeting laws or Roberts’ Rules. If you have an appeal that’s falling on deaf ears at every level, your ultimate recourse might be to run for office yourself, or to submit a notice of interest to volunteer. One of the replies indicates that their community is acting in a ‘fast and loose’ manner. If citizens don’t complain, or better yet act, then the situation will only get worse. As for Faye’s question on inter-agency communications, although budgets are tight across the country, this could be a niche market for the right organization. I’d be interested to hear where this goes, & I’ll follow the thread. Thanks for raising the issue. Joe