Sunday, July 30, 2017

all material on this blog is directed to members of the general public and is not intended to be read by my fellow Committee members, nor do I intend for any readers to convey such material directly or indirectly to my fellow Committee members.

I started this blog to share the interesting and useful information that I saw while serving as a Templeton selectman and now as a member of the Templeton Advisory Committee. I thought that my fellow Templeton residents would also find that information interesting and useful as well. This blog is my effort to assist in creating a system to push the information out from the Town House to residents. I believe the intent of the Open Meeting Law was to promote transparency and openness in governance, to take it from the back rooms and bring it out in the open. Watching events unfold over a period of time, it is apparent to me that this "new" law has actually had the effect of making it harder for information to be distributed. Massachusetts public records law states emails are public records, but if you are a member of a board or committee, if you make them public, you risk getting into trouble by way of the open meeting law. So it is back to meeting in private at someones home lets say, where anything may be discussed and no one other than those present will know. Take the MMA conference for example, three selectmen attend, have breakfast or lunch and some town business comes up and is discussed because a presentation attended by them seems to present a new idea on something currently before the select board. No one would know outside of those selectmen because it would be in private. Do that in a very public forum and express your opinion and you might be in trouble. Seems like this open meeting law that was intended to promote openness and transparency may actually be driving things back behind closed doors. 

Opinions expressed are those of Jeff Bennett and do not represent any other member of the Advisory Committee 

posted by Jeff Bennett