Late last year Southborough resident Nancy Vargas submitted at 240-page complaint to the town and to the attorney general’s office alleging misuse of funds and an array of Open Meeting Law violations. Selectmen said this week that policy changes were made in response to the complaint.
“The Board of Selectmen took the complaint seriously,” Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf said on Tuesday. “It’s being handled.”
The complaint relates to work by the now-disbanded Municipal Facilities Committee and town employees on plans for a new police station. In her complaint Vargas alleges among other things that committee members colluded with town officials to ensure a new building would be constructed instead of the existing one being preserved and renovated.
Vargas also claimed that certain committee members and town employees kept information from taxpayers and other members of the Facilities Committee.
The Metrowest Daily News has a report on just what changes the town made in response to Vargas’ complaint.
According to a letter from selectmen chairwoman Bonnie Phaneuf to the attorney general’s office, the town made changes last November to the committee handbook, e-mail policy and professional conduct policy after reading Vargas’ complaint.
Much of the new language reiterates the importance of topics such as proper and timely minute-taking and adherence to Open Meeting Law. But other additions are more substantive and seem to relate directly to Vargas’ complaint, which alleges that committee members and town employees hid information from her while she was on the Municipal Facilities Committee.
Selectman Bill Boland said the town issued a report in response to Vargas’ complaint, but said he could not comment further because the attorney general’s office still considers the case open.
If you haven’t seen it, there is an active (and blessedly civil) discussion happening over on this post about what the community can learn from the Vargas complaint and what changes we as a town should make in response. Check it out here.