A recent article by The Metrowest Daily News again reports that the Southborough Planning Board has been in possible violation of the Open Meeting Laws.
The Planning Board disagrees.
MWDN reported that discussions regarding the hiring of a new Town Planner have been taking place at Planning Board meetings without 48 hours public notice.
MWDN questioned Planning Board Chairman Don Morris:
“We were advised that the discussions fall under the ‘Other discussions properly before the board’ (agenda item),” Morris said. When asked who had provided that advice, Morris said he could not recall.
Town Clerk Paul Berry said Friday that the advice did not come from him. . . “They shouldn’t discuss something that’s not on the agenda unless something comes up during the meeting,” he said.
MWDN cited other meetings in which the town planner position was discussed with no specific mention on the agenda. The report also called into question the board’s decision to keep the candidates and finalist for the position confidential. (Read the full story here.)
This isn’t the first time MWDN has shined a light on the board’s practices. Just this spring, they ran the following story: Southborough Planning Board may have violated Open Meeting Law. That story focused on the board spending 15-20 minutes in private discussion prior to opening the meeting. (Proportedly to discuss procedures.)
What do you think? Is the board violating Open Meeting Laws?
How much leeway should “Other discussions properly before the board” allow board members to have?