Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Open Meeting Law Complaint Heads Back To AG's Office

BROCKTON—Four Brockton residents who have filed complaints with the state Attorney General’s Office that claim the Water Commission violated the Open Meeting Law in August believe the city’s response to the charge did not meet the requirements of the law and they are not satisfied with the city’s steps to resolve the issue.
The three-page letter, (pictured above, middle and below can be enlarged by clicking on each) which was sent to the Attorney General Tuesday, Jan. 4 states, “the city’s handling of our complaint does not seem to satisfy the intent of the Open Meeting Law complaint process. We do not know if the Water Commission’s response—via the City Solicitor—is even known to the members of the Water Commission.”
The letter, signed by residents Marianne Silva, Ayanna Yancey-Cato, Robert Ford and Darlene Abramson is a response to a letter sent in October to the Attorney General by City Solicitor Philip C. Nessralla Jr. outlining steps the city and Water Commission would take to resolve residents’ complaints, including Open Meeting Law training for commission members.
It is unclear if this training has taken place or will take place in the future.
Nessralla’s letter states the city has not decided if the commission actually violated the Open Meeting Law when it went into closed session Aug. 30 to discuss personnel issues and instead spent much of the time chastising member Patrick Quinn for speaking with the media.
The letter states the city would decide if board members violated the law after the training sessions.
Marianne Silva said the city’s response and city’s plan to resolve the issue does not meet the requirements of the law, in part because the City Solicitor’s letter was not sent to the four residents who made the complaint--a requirement under the law.
Because the city did not send its response letter to residents, the Attorney General has allowed an extension for the complaintants to respond to the city’s letter and has until Friday, Jan. 7 to ask the Attorney General to review the matter.
The original deadline would have been Dec. 10.
Residents in interviews and letters are adamant and certain commission members violated the Open Meeting Law and requests the Water Commission take a vote in open session acknowledging the law was violated and that members will take part in training to learn the rules and regulations of the law.
For's story about the initial Open Meeting Law complaint, click here...
Click here for BrocktonPost's story about the water issue and Nessralla's letter...

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