To the Editor:
The public’s right to know regarding all levels of our small town’s governmental operations is of paramount importance. The Feb. 17 Board of Selectmen agenda reads in part: “Executive Session Topics, Sale lease and disposition of real property: Railroad bed.”
I suggest that just because by law the BOS can meet behind closed doors, out of the earshot of the public, doesn’t mean that given every opportunity they should. Under the Open Meeting Law, selectmen and other boards can go into executive session to discuss the likes of collective bargaining or litigation strategies if holding such a conversation in public might negatively impact negotiations. The law further specifies that the notice of an executive session must contain “sufficient specificity to reasonably advise the public of the exact issue to be discussed at the meeting.”
I anxiously await the chairwoman, prior to her entering into privacy behind closed doors, revealing in much more detail without compromising the purpose for which the executive session was called. The past history of the railroad bed is one of, in general, not adhering to the law and the town simply letting things get sloppy.
I am not saying that our selectmen do not take their obligations under the Open Meeting Law seriously, but I do say that open, transparent, and accountable town government yields positive results. I further now suggest that in other matters the board review past executive session minutes to determine if continued non-disclosure is now warranted and determine if timely release is reasonable.
- Kenneth L. Kaplan