Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Seven of Nine



Who or what is Seven of Nine?

A. The hot babe on Star Trek Voyager.

B. The number of City Councilors who may have violated open meeting laws.

C. All of the above.

It seems like our City Council has gone amiss of the open meeting laws. The Herald News reports that 7 of our city councilors, state officials, and Mayor Correia met to discuss the controversial Watuppa Heights plan. The housing authority executive director, Tom Collins, said the meeting allowed for more city councilors to be involved than would be in the subcommitee, but the fact that the meeting is private would seem to be a clear violation of the open meeting laws.

See page 1 section II of the linked document.

Perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions but this seems pretty cut and dry to me. If I'm wrong somebody please explain it to me, because I can't figure out how this group with their combined experience, could make this mistake. I knew this wasn't the first time that our council has had issues with these pesky open meeting laws. In September of 2007 local filmmaker Jason Caminiti was prevented from taping a city council meeting in direct violation of Massachusetts open meeting laws. I had to laugh when I realized this last incidient was almost exactly a year ago!

Happy Anniversary!

4 comments:

General said...

From day one this project, Watuppa Heights, has been a train heading for disaster.

I do believe that the councilors met in 2 groups of 4 or less. If that is the case would that be a violation?

By the way, the real story here is the Watuppa Heights screw up!

We have to come up with $4million -- at least!!

Vacant land. A total of 60 units on site and 20 units off site.

Remember - originally there was NO PLAN when the council voted and the state voted on this idea. Check it out, there was no concrete plan.

One councilor warned us, but we did not listen.

HA! More of our tax dollars going out the window!

Fear and Loathing in Fall River said...

'“Revolving door” meetings, in which a quorum of members participates in serial fashion, are
meetings under the Open Meeting Law and must comply with all the Law’s requirements.'

http://www.mass.gov/Cago/docs/Government/openmtgguide.pdf

It sounds like they had a 'revolving door' meeting to me. Let's see how they spin this.

Fear and Loathing in Fall River said...

The link I left is the link to Attorney General Martha Coakley's guidlines for open meeting laws.

Anonymous said...

On the topic of meetings while you are at the hn site read about the chatty city councilors.



ERINB
Does the city council also go by Roberts Rules of Order? Let's guess who those few councilors are.
Perhaps Mr Camara could just have the meetings on a friday at 1pm if that is more conducive to his
unemployment schedule, it seemed to have 'cut them off' previosly. Or better yet, lets go to an absentee ballott system and they can just mail in their votes on issues and you can disregard them
since the vote has already been taken without them. 2009- is SHAKE UP year -our chance to change this.