Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sorry About That

 6/24 Regional School Committee meeting

In response to my Open Meeting Law complaint Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee Chair Lawrence O'Brien has promised to do a better job from now on for "as long as I am serving as Chair."

Which is all well and good, except he was elected Chair at the tumultuous 6/24 meeting but only until the Regional School Committee meets for their cozy little "Retreat" (not the controversial housing project in North Amherst) sometime in August.

Simply put my complaint stemmed from the published written agenda stating they were going into Executive Session to discuss only "Collective Bargaining," when in fact they pulled the cloak of secrecy for a "litigation" discussion instead.

Yes, litigation is a very legitimate reason to go into Executive Session.  But it would be nice to know specifically up front that litigation was the reason rather than giving the false impression it was for rather benign contract negotiations. 

And I get a little nervous when he cites their "district legal counsel" Gini Tate, as she also gives "counsel" to the Wayland School Committee, a serial offender of the Open Meeting Law. 


Anonymous said...

Does this mean there will be no followup from the Attorney General over your Open Meeting Law complaint(s) re: the recent School Committee meeting and Exec Session.

Larry Kelley said...


If the School Committee had ignored my complaint or told me to take a hike, then I would have forwarded it to the AG for further action.

Anonymous said...

Wow! All that me, me, me really amounts to a whole lot of shit.
Oh thank you LK for saving our town. Boy you are an asshole!

Larry Kelley said...

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Gotcha' again stupid.
Ha-ha I told you this would be fun.

Larry Kelley said...

Not really. I was baiting you.

And now that my sitemeters have triangulated on you ...

"Suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door."

Anonymous said...

For an example of how crazy one can get when one is convinced one is in the right, see Kathleen Anderson's broad-brush condemnation of Amherst's "white teachers" in today's Gazette on the editorial page.

When you're getting attention, you've got to make the most of it.

Anonymous said...

According to the Gazette, Trevor Baptiste posted a meeting of School Committee members for today under the Open Meeting Law with the town clerks of Amherst, Pelham, Leverett, & Shutesbury.... but then O'Brien and the school administration indicated that the meeting was posted in error and has been canceled, & calls were made to the town clerks telling them so. Baptiste then called the clerks again & told them the meeting was still being held.

Can a majority of school committee members legally meet (and post this meeting) if the chair and the administration doesn't want them too?

Larry Kelley said...

As long as it was properly posted, I believe so.

And members can talk among themselves (even a quorum) at any time about "housekeeping issues."

Anonymous said...

But the town of Amherst's web site now lists today's meeting as canceled... even though it will still be taking place, albeit with the Reg School Committee chair.

Larry Kelley said...

Safe bet there will be a meeting today, whether the town of Amherst likes it or not.