Monday, August 25, 2008

Open Meetings Law: Getting Some Teeth . . .

Open Meetings . . . a breath of fresh air . . . may be coming to a hallowed hall of local government near you.

A recent change to the State's Open Meetings Law may help to improve compliance by giving citizens a weapon of sorts. According to the Counsel on Open Government:
Effective August 5, 2008, the new provision states that when it is found by a court that a public body voted in private “in material violation” of the law “or that substantial deliberations occurred in private” that should have occurred in public, the court “shall award costs and reasonable attorney’s fees” to the person or entity that initiated the lawsuit.
Is anyone taking bets which public body in our area will be the first to be tested?

4 comments:

Danny said...

I think the first test should be the closed meetings in NH over the sewer issues.

Anonymous said...

it is the members were already served papers

Greens and Beans said...

School Districts, with their intellectual arrogance and distain for any taxpayer who dares to question what inappropriate deals that are crafted in “executive session”, should be the first ones to experience the bite of this law, but I must agree with Danny, the Town of New Hartford will probably tromp the school districts to be the first.

Anonymous said...

What about the cover-up in the Town of New Hartford and allegations of stalking a woman who brought a complaint before the New Hartford Town Board. Mrs. Alessi was videotaped by Concerned Citizens [ http://newhartfordnyonline.blogspot.com/ ]

The July 2008 clearly shows Mrs. Alessi complaining to Earle Reed and was told to keep quiet. However, Mrs. Deborah Alessi clearly informed the N.H. Town Board of her rights to speak in public and complain about a N.H. Town Police Officer who was stalking her and Chief Raymond Philo refused to accept her certified letter. Yes, Chief Raymond Philo actually refused to accepted a Certified letter delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. This guy is supposed to uphold and enforce laws?

Now, if you really want to see arrogance of a Town Supervisor, click on the August 2008 video taping done by Concerned Citizens.

Now, people will get a real taste of how bad our elected officials are in the Town of New Hartford.