Monday, August 22, 2011
What price public documents?
Shawn Williams, Assistant Director
Public Records Division
McCormack Building, Room 1719
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Dear Mr. Williams,
First off, my sincere condolences on the loss of Director Alan Cote. He was a true champion of keeping records open and available to the general public, a thankless and--unfortunately in Massachusetts--never ending job.
I'm aware your office seldom refers matters to the Attorney General for further action these days, but I'm requesting you do exactly that with the case of the Amherst Schools obstinately defying your order to produce 13 settlement agreements with public employees costing Amherst taxpayers $200,000 over the past five years.
As I understand it only two options now exist for overcoming this willful roadblock: referring the matter to the AG by your office for enforcement of your original order, or I can bring the matter to Superior Court such as the Boston Globe has done with an almost identical case.
Unfortunately option #2 will cost me $275 plus the additional cost as an Amherst taxpayer when the schools use attorney Regina Tate at $220/hour to defend their case.
It seems the Amherst Schools are using South Hadley as an example for doing the public's business: as secretly as possible. Please, do not allow them to be rewarded for this unethical pattern of behavior.
596 South Pleasant St
Amherst, Ma 01002