LTE: Select Board OML Complaints

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Last summer saw a number of articles in the Reading Post regarding Open Meeting Law Complaints against the Reading Select Board (SB), the most prominent being by attorney Kendra Cooper’s Aug 12 LTE. Post readers may therefore be interested in knowing that Cooper’s complaints have recently been resolved by the Attorney General Office’s (AGO) Open Meeting Law Division, in its so-called OML Determination, entitled OML 2021-10, published here

More generally, a webpage has recently been published, documenting Cooper’s complaints and all other recent Select Board OML cases. That documentation is not as complete as it should be, however, due to significant gaps in the Reading town’s official website’s records. A Public Records Law request for the missing documentation has been submitted to the town, and the webpage will be updated with the additional information as it becomes available.

Finally, at the bottom of that webpage is a section detailing a battle currently being waged with the AGO, regarding the applicability of the OML to the preparation (as distinguished to design, format, approval, publication, etc.) of SB meeting minutes. Very remarkably, the AGO has promulgated a literally false statement of the OML in support of its position. The webpage will be updated with ongoing developments on that front, too. On this point, Post readers may care that a “minutes” project is being worked by the SB at this very time, so right now is a great opportunity for town residents to write to the SB with their thoughts.

— Walter Tuvell, Main Street

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