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

8/22/2011

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.

Sincerely Yours,

Larry Kelley
596 South Pleasant St
Amherst, Ma 01002
413 256-0491

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep swinging! Need some cash? Let me know how to email you and I can discuss underwriting your investigation. A transparent, clean government is worth paying for.

LarryK4 said...

You can get me at:

amherstac@aol.com

(Yes, I need to come up with a contact page and link to my main page.)

Anonymous said...

"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."


Excuse me but isn't the ex-chair of the S. Hadley school committee, who did all that for Sayer, working as the head of our district's H.R. department?

And wasn't she Gus Sayer's assistant back in the day when he was Super over here?

(I wont use her name so as not to embarrass anyone)

Anonymous said...

Has this issue been raised in front of the school committee? Maybe they can provide some guidance.

Anonymous said...

It's time for her to resign.


We don't need this in Amherst.

Anonymous said...

You people need to get a life!!

Kathy P. said...

Larry, has anyone looked at the billing to MASSHealth, because I suspect that they are getting funds there and still telling the public how expensive SPED services are. "She" ran such a well designed campaign, perhaps the White House is next! Wouldn't that be wonderful. Despite the fact that the town wasted $6600,00 for a search process that was supposed to be transparent, we still have kids being pushed through the system or worse yet pushed out, and no one has answers. Kids lives are on the line and it's time for Amherst to do the right thing and stop lying to the kids and their parents. The only respone I ever got from the School Committee was from Catherine Sanderson. Hmmmm!

Anonymous said...

10 folks @ $27 meets the bill. We should be able to swing that.

Still you should make a statment at the SC mtg.