Open Meeting Law Violations
"It's ....not what we profess, but what we practice that gives us integrity."
~ Francis Bacon, Sr.
There are now 8 instances of AG-determined intentional OML violations in the state, 2 of which took place in Wayland:
2015-122 Hinsdale Select Board
2015-94 Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School Committee
2015-9 Hinsdale Select Board
2014-42 Wayland School Committee
2014-41 Hamilton Finance and Advisory Committee
2011-43 Blandford Board of Selectmen
2011-27 Otis Board of Selectmen
2011-26 Wayland Board of Selectmen
8/5/2015 WickedLocal ~ Letter by Linda Segal of Wayland: Sad state of affairs
"...Counsel Mark Lanza delayed almost five months in providing documents for the agency's investigation of alleged wrongdoing."
7/29/2015 ~ AG: Two Wayland boards violated state Open Meeting Law
"...the law requires disclosure where a ‘legitimate, countervailing interest’ exists."
The Attorney General’s office has found Wayland to be in violation of the Open Meeting Law twice as many times as all of our peer towns combined.
Here are the 3 latest determinations:
|07/21/2015||OML 2015-99||Wayland School Committee||Wayland|
|07/21/2015||OML 2015-97||Wayland Finance Committee||Wayland|
|07/21/2015||OML 2015-98||Wayland Finance Committee||Wayland|
|This is a combined list of the 2 sets of Peer Towns from Wayland's FinCom and School Committee. Updated 7/27/15|
|Town||Determinations||Violations Found||Fine Imposed|
|The AG's office has imposed a fine for intentional violations on 6 occasions, 2 of those against Wayland. The only other municipalities in the Commonwealth of MA that have been fined were Otis, Sudbury, Hamilton and Blandford, each with only one violation filed against them.|
These numbers refelect the number of OML determinations since 2010,
according to the Attorney General's website.
An Oldie, but Goody:
BOS Policies ~ BOS OML Violation Caught on Tape While a few years old, this short video illustrates a basic disregard for the Open Meeting Law that still exists among some board members today.
Sometimes the Powers That Be (PTB) in Wayland have a tendancy to mince words; instead of acknowledging the number of Open Meeting Law violations by their boards, they emphasize the number of Open Meeting Law complaints. They say that it's not the number of violations that's the problem, but the number of complaints. This is a very defensive way to look at it. While not every complaint that has been filed has resulted in a fine from the state, the real question is why are there ANY violations after the number of training sessions the state has demanded as a result of their violations. It seems a vicious circle, but the problem really does come back to the boards who, for whatever reason, fail to comply with the Open Meeting Law. If Selectmen are to lead by example, particularly for committees they appoint, taking steps to improve/ensure compliance would be far more productive than attacking complainants.
4.14.2011 ~ No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
As reported in WVN, two days after Donna Bouchard asked a question at Town Meeting about the Recreation Revolving Fund, BOS Chairman Correia demanded that she resign from the Town Moderator's Town Meeting Procedures Subcommittee due to "conduct unbecoming a member of the committee." This is an interesting choice of words from Corriea, as he and 3 other BOS members were caught on tape last summer breaking the Open Meeting Law in a pre-meeting, out of the public's eye. The tape shows them in a huddle, whispering to each other about which candidates to not re-appoint to town positions. Click here for WayCam clip.
However, here is a video of Mr. Correia at Ask The Candidates on March 29, explaining that the Selectmen have never once broken the Open Meeting Law.
And yet here is a Town Crier article 3 months earlier by Mike Wyner saying they have. The Attorney General's office agreed and fined the BOS $1,000, though the fine was later lowered to $500.
More to come....