TOWNSEND -- The Townsend Board of Selectmen has been cited with another Open Meeting Law violation for posting a number of meeting minutes late, dating back to March of last year. This comes after the board received a similar violation just last month.
On Monday, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General officially determined the board to be in violation. The AG's Office received a complaint from Linda Johansen on March 24, who was seeking the board's open meeting session minutes from March 2016 through December 2016.
In January, Johansen requested meeting minutes from 2016, and she was instructed to find the minutes on the town website, where she identified 21 missing meeting minutes, according to the AG's Office. She requested those missing minutes on Jan. 18 and was provided with the unapproved, draft minutes on Feb. 16.
It was not until the Board of Selectman's Feb. 28 meeting that those meeting minutes from March through December 2016 were approved.
"We find that the Board violated the Open Meeting Law where it took between two and 11 months to approve its meeting minutes," Assistant Attorney General KerryAnne Kilcoyne wrote. "Here, the Board took at most 11 months to approve minutes from meetings held in March 2016; and over two months at the very least to approve minutes from meetings held in December 2016."
The Board of Selectmen denied it violated the law.
Last month the board was found in violation for taking nearly 10 months to release minutes from a hearing.
"Both complaints were filed days within each other," Kreidler said in an email. "As I have earlier offered, there are a dozen or more legitimate reasons for the delay in approving the minutes but there is no excuse. I take responsibility and we are working diligently to see that it does not happen again."
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