Thursday, March 14

Board of Select Men Meeting

It has been awhile since my last post and not a lot has happened. The finance committee has been digging through the water dept. numbers and it has been a slow process wading through the mountain of paperwork. They asked me to hold back on releasing any information until they know all the facts. Although I doubt that we will ever know all the facts; I will try to honor their request.

The BoS meeting was relatively civilized Monday night. I guess the other members kept Charlie on a short leash. During citizens time I presented an Open Meeting Law violation complaint to the Board of select. I felt that last week’s action of the BoS, to call for a public hearing to remove me from the finance committee should not have been done in open session. The fact that a Berkshire record reporter was there and wrote about it is one of reasons privacy rules are in place and the main reason I filed a complaint. I know this sounds petty but other people have filed OMLV complaints for lesser reasons; some of them even in bad faith.

Charlie pointed out that the complaint was invalid because it wasn’t submitted to the town clerk. He is absolutely correct and unless it is dealt with beforehand this complaint will be filed officially before the deadline. The AG requires that a complainant submit the complaint to the offending public body within 30 days of the alleged violation. I guess this is in order for the public body to have every opportunity to remedy the alleged violation. Mary wanted to highlight the fact that I referred to the Board of Select men as the Board of Select; I guess that’s why she is considered just one of the guys’. I thought Selectmen would be politically incorrect. My bad! The BoSmen resolved to turn this issue over to the town’s attorney and went on to the next item.

The next important issue to be discussed was about fashion accessories. Charlie wanted to know which hat I was wearing tonight. While I have many fine hats I could not find my FC hat so I had to put on my citizen hat. He then asked which hat I was wearing when I went to the water plant last week to talk to Jack Muskrat. I told him it was the citizen’s hat and Charlie scolded me because citizens are not supposed to visit the water plant. The insurance would not cover any losses if someone were hurt. That’s Charlie, keeping an eye out for the town’s best interest.

I told Charlie, that like every citizen, I was given an open invitation by Jim and Jack to visit the water plant anytime. The water company employees have always wanted to make the plant available to the public so citizens could see what a valuable town asset the water plant is. I guess I ruined it for everyone because from this point forward citizens will no longer be allowed to visit the water plant. I have to wonder though, is Charlie looking out for the town or just trying to stop me from getting information. Does he know that any citizen has the right to request to see the files on the water department? The freedom of information act opens up any government files to the public; unless of course there’s a national security issue. Perhaps the Egremont water dept. is classified as a National Security risk.
There were a few other uninteresting things discussed; but you’ll have to read about that in the minutes of the BoS meeting.

1 comment:

  1. Kevin, I have also been invited to the Water department.

    Steve Rawlings