SHIRLEY -- Selectmen at their meeting Monday night reviewed a letter that Town Counsel aims to send to the State Attorney General addressing a citizen's complaint that alleges the board violated the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law when it did not deliver Executive Session minutes as requested.

The five-page letter states, in part, that the request is "untimely," and fails to meet OML rules, Chairman Holly Haase said.

The selectmen did not object to providing the minutes, when they are available. The problem, Haase said, is that the minutes Bryan Dumont asked for -- a total of 21 sets from sessions held from April through October last year -- haven't even been transcribed yet.

Once that's done, the minutes must be approved by the three-member board for release, if appropriate.

Haase noted that catching up on backlogged minutes has been problematic, but they are working on it. A major challenge has been getting the recordings of those meetings transcribed.

"Everyone has the right to request minutes and to complain" when they are not available right away, Haas said. But this is a long list and it's been difficult to get someone to transcribe the recordings.

One person hired to do it gave up in short order, unable to match speakers' voices with the names of people present at the meetings, among other difficulties. "She quit," Haase said.

"We're doing our best to get the (executive session) minutes ready for public release," Haase said.


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The board voted unanimously to approve town counsel's letter, as amended, with provisions for minor changes he might make before sending it out.

Dumont did not immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment.