Halsey Files Open Meeting Law Complaint

Select Board member John Halsey filed an open meeting law complaint on July 9, 2018, against the Select Board. At the July 10 meeting, the Select Board briefly discussed the process and decided to request a time extension on the response to the complaint. The board will also request Town Counsel to draft a response to Halsey and be in attendance at their August 21 meeting. Select Board member Halsey recused himself from the discussion and left the room while the matter was discussed.

The alleged violation happened after the June 19 Executive Session adjourned when, according to the complaint, Select Board member Vanessa Alvarado insisted that board members remain [in the room]. Alvarado insisted that “minutes recorder” Caitlin Saunders leave the room as “no further minutes were required.” The complaint continues, that Acting Chair Berman objected, but Alvarado began reading from a printed statement regarding the proceedings of a previous executive session, in direct violation of open meeting law.

According to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, the reason for the executive session must be posted 48 hours in advance and minutes must be taken only on matters for which the executive session was called.

Halsey is requesting a “unanimous declaration” by the board acknowledging the error and apologizing while ensuring no recurrence. He also requests an individual apology by Alvarado to the public and fellow members.

At the July 10 meeting, the Select Board briefly discussed the process and decided to request a time extension on the response to the complaint. The board will also request Town Counsel to draft a response to Halsey and be in attendance at their August 21 meeting.

2018-07-09 OML Complaint

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