Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in

Former Town Manager Larry Shaffer, standing center (way back in his angelic days)

From: White, Donald (SEC)
Sent: Mon, Feb 14, 2011 10:30 am
Subject: Public Records Appeal - SPR11/009

Mr. Kelley,

I wanted to provide you with a brief update on the status of the public records appeal that you submitted to this office. I have been in communication with the counsel for the Town of Amherst to discuss the information redacted from the 8/30/10 Amherst Select Board Executive Session Meeting Minutes. At this time, town counsel has withheld that information and asserted Exemption (c) – The Privacy Exemption. Although the town has asserted this exemption, I am awaiting further information that will support the use of this exemption. I expect to speak further with town counsel next week, as they are out of the office this week.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any further questions, but I at least wanted to provide you with the information that I had on the appeal to date. Thank you.

Donald White
Staff Attorney

Dear Mr White,

Thank you for the brief update. Nice when a government agency in charge of Open Meetings can be so open themselves. I hope when you make your final decision I can also receive the results via electronic mail.

As I'm sure you know, 'Exemption C The Privacy Exemption' is the #1 reason cited by municipal officials for turning down Public Documents requests. But public officials have a lesser expectation of privacy than the taxpayers who fund their salaries.

And the state allows the exception to be trumped when "there is a paramount public interest in disclosure."
Indeed I strongly believe the sudden departure of Town Manager Larry Shaffer, taking with him four months of salary, rises to level of "paramount public interest"; and since he very soon thereafter reentered the job market in Michigan, I'm sure it was not a medical condition that fueled his hasty flight.

The redacted lone sentence I seek represents one half of the 120 minute Executive Session, as Select Board Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe covered the entire meeting with only two sentences. That too is questionable record keeping.

Maintaining public trust should be your paramount concern. When elected local officials hatch backroom deals in a private manner financed with public taxpayer money, it diminishes that sacred trust.

Again, thank you for considering this important matter.

Larry Kelley

Correction: The Executive Session was one hour-and-twenty-minutes (80 minutes) not two hours (120 minutes). Still, pretty hard to capture in only two sentences


Anonymous said...

Now we're talking.

Anonymous said...

The real question is, what was said that isn't in the Minutes?

LarryK4 said...


The minutes are supposed to represent what was said. I find it hard to believe--even with Princess Stephanie's sterling writing ability--that you can capture an hour and twenty minutes in only two sentences.

And then to redact one of them...

Anonymous said...

what a fucking fiasco

I hope people keep up with shafter's movements and expose to his new marks what a fuckin lier he is.


LarryK4 said...

Geeze, so now I'm back on your good side.

The old 'enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend' routine, eh?

Anonymous said...

Bach ~did~ get screwed.

LarryK4 said...

Figuratively speaking of course.

Anonymous said...

For those of us who thought Shaffer's departure was rather sudden and then watched him take a job elsewhere which seemed odd. What is the issue here as I did not follow all of these events very closely??

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you had a good side ;-)

btw, you should know one cannot start a sentence with the word "but", as you did in the letter.

re screwed:thx whoever you are


Anonymous said...

But of course you can.

LarryK4 said...

And I also tend to start sentences with "And": also allowable.

LarryK4 said...

Anon 1:53

Well it's pretty obvious by now that Mr. Shaffer left his wife in favor of a left leaning Umass professor (married to another Umass professor at the time of their first introduction) who moved on up to Central Michigan University.

And SHE was on the citizen "search committee" that chose HIM over two other highly qualified candidates (one of whom is now the Town Manager, performing admirably.)

SHE was also on the Zoning Board of
Appeals helping to cost Scott Nielson about $500,000 in litigation costs blocking his condo development on South East Street (also vehemently opposed by Carol Grey, now mercifully ensconced in Egypt.)

And I vividly remember early in Shaffer's tenure when Mr. Nielson told me in person about an incident behind closed doors in the Town Manager's office where he blew a gasket and acted in a most unprofessional manner towards Nielson because of the condo project opposed by his "significant other" (other than his wife of course).

Then too, there are those pesky rumors about Mr. Shaffer ALSO having another affair with a low level town employee who has since left with a somewhat tidy financial settlement.

Anonymous said...

I guess short fat and deceptive is sexy


Anonymous said...

I mean honestly who would want to fuck that piece of shit

Anonymous said...

He screwed several loyal town employees who were great employees and loved the town but chose to leave to other towns!!

Roach patrol said...

Oh but didn't Larry S. make us all feel SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD?????????


Eat it, Amherst.

Anonymous said...

"I mean honestly who would want to fuck that piece of shit"

He knew he'd have a chance in Amherst.