Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Clear & Egregious Violation


I've seen and complained about many an Open Meeting Violation over the past 25 years but this one takes the cake.

For a quorum of School Committee members to not only deliberate but outright scheme to get their way is beyond the pale.  Especially when their endgame will cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars for a concept they do not particularly like.

   Amherst SC OML Violation by Larry Kelley on Scribd  (reverse chronological order)


What kind of an example does that set for the children of Amherst when elected pubic officials flagrantly violate the law to win?  Although, since they cheated and still lost, it does reaffirm my Irish mother's motto, "Cheaters never prosper."

I hate to think what further violations are taking place now that the Mega School question will be voted on for a fourth time at the March 28th town election.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry Larry, I am newbie to this -- why is talking offline illegal?

Anonymous said...

Holy crap!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why does Alice Swift represent a precinct she doesn't live in? Her comment about the possible difference in their opinion is concerning.

Anonymous said...

I wish there was something to report about the town that did not include more and more information about how poorly everything is run and how much the people are taken advantage of (despite the awkward compliments to the town that sometimes pop here up in the middle of all the wasteful chaos).

And with power concentrated, it will not get better.

I used to have so much respect for this town, back when it was open minded, had a decent sawmill, respected students because they are the lifeblood of the town and this blog did not exist to constantly report about what a craphole this place has become.

I miss the town I thought of as Amherst.

The truth sucks.


Anonymous said...

Have these folks lost their collective minds? Talk about the "pot calling the kettle black" – this is the sinister conspiracy!

Anonymous said...

Time for a public records request for past emails and texts of the Gang of 3.

Anonymous said...

Well that's no surprise. Three elected officials actively working together with BOLD and the administration on the Mega school. A strong NO vote on this project is the message to send.

Anonymous said...

Reading through I just Kept saying "Oh My God"

A step by step script for Town Meeting complete with stage directions (how to wave) and cast members listed in order of their (hopeful) presentations.

Thank you Larry!

Anonymous said...

and the same trio had another opportunity to *F* us all during the school committee meeting on Monday.

Anonymous said...

It is illegal for amherst sc members to secretely communicate, deliberate and conspire about how to embezzle the schools' 40 million dollar budget...Lock them up!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the District Attorney would like to see this. There may be multiple violations of conflict of interest laws not only by the School Committee members but by the teachers included in the emails too.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, I don't know whom AG Sessions will name as US Atty-MA, but suspect he/she/it will be interested in this, the Geryk bribe/buyout, the Hiza matter, and possibly some of the SPED suits as a RICO investigation.


There's Federal money involved, misconduct by public officials (OML if not more), and I still suspect a lot of side deals with the MegaSkool.

Anonymous said...

Not school committee business but TM article. Not even a TM quorum. An article that involves the town and borrowing money. A lot of smoke no fire Larry, no matter how much you dislike these three women.
For someone who has filed so many OML complaints you should know this isn't a violation.

Anonymous said...

Quite the firedom between the Super and the school board. Makes me wonder why we hired a search agency when it's apparent who will get the job.

Anonymous said...

Did the 3 school committee members jointly act to support the 3-times-failed-half-baked-really-fucked-up-Mega-School-project during a school committee meeting after they communicated in the email thread cited by Larry? If the answer is yes, the 3 school committee members intentionally violated the open meeting law!

Anonymous said...

Conflict of interest complaint procedure:

http://www.mass.gov/ethics/commission-services/complaints/file-a-complaint.html

Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei still loves you, dearly said...

What?


Which one?


Ohhhhh, ~thiiiiisssss~ onnnnnnneeeeeee...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6ZB7CsSw6Q


Yeeeeeeeaaaahhhh...



Your new/old best friend,

-Squeaky Squeaks



p.s. Ooo-ooo that smelllll...

Anonymous said...

This is such BS. This isn't an open meeting law violation and Larry knows it. Just trying to stir his minions up and get some page hits.

Anonymous said...

To the last "Anon" that called this "BS." Having served for a total of 5 years on two separate Town Boards, I can tell you that not only is it an Open Meeting Violation, but it also shows an astounding lack of moral and ethical standards. All Board Members are repeatedly informed about transparency and proper use of email. They know better. These Board members show an arrogance and lack of judgment that is nothing short of staggering. These people should be removed from the Board immediately. I don't care which side of the School issue any of you are on, this is just plan WRONG and until there are consequences to be paid.....either through legal action or via the ballot box....this kind of completely unscrupulous behavior will continue, dragging Amherst down with it. How can Amherst residents continue to protest and stamp their collective feet regarding real or perceived behavior by our nationally elected leaders, yet turn a blind eye to blatant abuse of power and unethical behavior right here at home??

Larry Kelley said...

I'm actually hoping the Attorney General fines them $1,000 which I believe is the maximum sanction they can invoke.

Anonymous said...

To anon 11:05 AM,

Word.

Anonymous said...

Ed...once again your predictions are stupid...the feds are not interested in the least. You are an idiot!

Mass is Corrupt and we all know it said...

"This is such BS. This isn't an open meeting law violation and Larry knows it. Just trying to stir his minions up and get some page hits." umm, that's the job, let's stop pretending reporting stuff is not a business. FYI - medicine and governments are also businesses, with the same drivers - make the money.


"I'm actually hoping the Attorney General fines them $1,000 which I believe is the maximum sanction they can invoke." ok, then it is really not that illegal. Seems pretty clear these folks are managing much more money. So one could get on these boards, get bribed $2,000 to make a $100,000 bad decision and still profit if they are caught.

Can't they also go to prison for mismanaging funds? I guess someone would have to care enough. Check out the article in my name link. Denial runs right across the state. Old folks would say same as the 30s. Folks above say same as today.

The solution over the last century has always been to put these same folks in charge of more and more of our money. Why? I thought we were the most educated state.

Ever notice that the number of laws needed to keep a community in line is proportional to the education level in the town. Educated people literally need more oversight and management by government. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

No no larry...Dr ed is pretty sure then can be prosecuted by the feds. By the way, why hasn't squeaky squeak been hospitalized by now?

Highwater Suspenders said...

I am on town meeting and we do this all the time; I don't see a problem

Anonymous said...

How long does the AG have to respond to the OML complaint?

I wonder how the SC members will justify their actions, if they do present a justification.

Anonymous said...

The entire School Department needs an overhaul.
The waste, destruction and sense of entitlement is widespread and never ending!

Healthy as a horse said...

"By the way, why hasn't squeaky squeak been hospitalized by now?"



Oh come on now.




-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...

Town Meeting is legislature so is not under the open meeting rules.

These people get ethics training, they know they're not supposed to be in a private quorum on school issues. Taking bribes isn't the only way of doing something wrong. Conspiring to give some people privileged access to a quorum of decision-makers is enough. The townspeople who participated on these lists don't know but the school committee members definitely do. Can you imagine if it was Vira that did this, they would be all over her complaining to the state rigiht away. I guess they're so privileged and used to doing what they want that they don't think they are subject to the same laws as other people.

If they just want to be on one side then they shouldn't be in townwide public office where they are supposed to represent everyone.

Tom Porter said...

The behavior reflected on the email thread is craven, dishonest, manipulative, ultimately futile. Depressing for our town.

Larry Kelley said...

Made even more so by their bold assertion they did nothing wrong. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Last Amherst School Committee meeting was the first first time it's responded to parents' concerns in 10 years, but it turns out Appy, Hazard and Ordonez helped pack the room with parents that supported their position-build a new school. So they could look up and say we have to listen to these people (we collected). Leaving Nakajima to go along to get along and get those 2,000+ votes that Appy, Churchill, Amherst For All, etc. can always bring to the ballot box.

Nice theater, although somewhere in there are children and taxpayers who can't afford the most expensive elementary school in Massachusetts.

An don't forget the Appy, Hazard and Ordonez were emailing and working on an issue that would go before the Amherst School Committee--withdrawing Amherst's application from MSBA. Wonder what their other emails say.

Anonymous said...

Did Appy vote on Monday? (I believe she did)
With her steadfast alliance to the building committee's plan - she should've recused herself.

Anonymous said...

Actually 11:11, it was the withdrawal of the Statement of Interest they were voting on, but same idea. And now the project is guaranteed to be delayed another year because they failed to withdraw the SOI from the MSBA by the deadline. How lovely.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, weren't these same people trying to claim that Catherine's blog violated OML?

I seem to remember a big fuss about something.

Anonymous said...

What ever became of the fact that school funds were being used to develop print materials to solicit yes votes from UMass students (back in November)?

Larry Kelley said...

What happened to my Ethics complaint back in September about Select Board member Doug Slaughter, a school employee, voting as Select Board member to place the Mega School on the November ballot and not recusing himself or even announcing his ties to the public schools?

Dr. Ed said...

And you wonder why I believe that a Federal Grand Jury is inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Ed you're drunk, go home. Since leaving moms basement isn't an option just erase your account.

Anonymous said...

This has been happening for a very long timw. Although Ordonez ez just got pulled in since she is the newest. Thinking back to last year and the behavior and focus on discrediting other members of sc. Yes they should all resign, maybe we can get some teamwork started. Larry I disagree of the D Slaughter issue.. I honestly think it was unintentonal and now he maea his disclaimer all the time. I really hope amherst voters show that No means no. Please get out the core on March 28. Don't be manipulated by team G. We wanted to fire her for multiple reasons (the corruption and manipulation, lack of community respect were just a few ) Of course her "supporters" will carry on her warped agenda. Maybe we should name the school after her or dedicate it to her as a constant reminder that it cost us 300,000 + to get rid of her in addition to the 34 million .. that she had to submit and sign unto against parent wishes. Wake up Amherst!

Dr. Ed said...

Methinks 8:18 doth protest too much. What might make he/she/it fear a Federal Grand Jury so much?


Hmmmm --- Why is it that I can't be ignored? Could it be because folks know I am right?

Anonymous said...

Ed, why are you obsessed with meddling in the town politics of a town that's not even in the state you live in? That's just weird.

Dr. Ed said...

2:20 PM is free to ignore me -- I think the concern is that others might not.

Anonymous said...

The whole world is free to ignore you.

Anonymous said...

Yes and also free to read you.

Anonymous said...

So cute the people think that government is run in the open.

And that if 18% of people vote a fair decision has been made and that this is better than a closed meeting.

Joke is on you. Hope you are ready to comply, because that this the system - obey and comply.

Larry Kelley said...

"Resistance is futile".

Rick Hood said...

It will be interesting to see how the AG rules on this. I am not sure it’s a violation because the TM vote was not in the SC’s jurisdiction, it was in the TM’s jurisdiction. And these emails seem to be all about the TM vote, not an SC vote. Also, SC members are members of TM, and TM members are not subject to OML on issues TM are voting on. Seriously, will be interesting what the AG says and why.

Larry Kelley said...

I'm sure we will find out since I'm guessing the School Committee on Wednesday is going to tell me to go to Hell (well, three of them anyway) so I will then appeal it to the AG.

Anonymous said...

Rick Hood, Isn't the whole issue in the SC's jurisdition? They had to vote on it to send it to TM and on the plan after TM. Does their jurisditcion end?
Plus does anybody believe this was the first time they did this, they probably talked all the time with BOLD about the school plan. Maybe Larry Kelly can do a freedom of information request.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating how the Umass students are considered "not viable" voters because they are viewed as not being here in the long term. They play a vital role in the economy in the area; not to mention that the colleges and local businesses are a primary source of employment opportunities for many "locals".

The interdependence is obvious but it seems like folks posting are only interested when the lens used fits their own agenda.

Amherst has a transient population due in part to the colleges but also for a number of other reasons. And, not to be disrespectful, but a vast majority of town meeting members seem to be of retirement age plus. The long range picture in this type of community is a moving target.

At the end of the day, a new combined school is necessary and will, no doubt, bring new families into the community. Let's keep moving forward into the future.

Anonymous said...

Typical lefty. Always trying to squelch Ed's free speech.

Anonymous said...

After having a long talk with a former sc member I learned something new. Once the state's payout is done Amherst can do as they please including changing the grade configuration. I also heard the Morris is contemplating the grade configuration issue that many people have. Why hasn't anyone made this part if the equation more visible ? Or is just lip service.

Anonymous said...

Morris wrote a letter last fall saying that if there was any change in the educational plan (by making the 2 schools into 1 school), Amherst would have to pay the state's money back. Now at last Town Meeting Morris said that the new school could go to K-6 because there was room for kindergarten classes--but no talk about paying the state back if educational plan was changed from 2-6 to K-6. Who knows what is true with this admin?

Anonymous said...

It was convenient last fall for the administration to say it couldn't change so they could to try to get the plan passed. Now it's more convenient for them to say that they can change the plan.The real shocker is that so many people don't see through this small town political BS.