My local newspaper, the Attleboro Sun Chronicle, posted an article today about an Open Meeting Law complaint filed by a resident of Foxboro. Foxboro is going through some political challenges right now as the town decides whether or not to allow a casino to be built near the stadium, and things have gotten a bit tense.
The article reports:
The state Attorney General’s Office says the chairman of the board of selectmen alone decides who may speak during a meeting – and when they must zip their lip.
The chairman can even refuse to allow a word of comment from the audience.
And a board or committee has no obligation to put any particular matter on its agenda.
Those are among the points raised by the Attorney General’s Office in its rejection of Open Meeting Law complaints filed last year by a Foxboro resident.
I am more than a little surprised by the ruling. Isn’t the Board of Selectmen accountable to the people of the town? Isn’t the meeting of the selectmen the place where residents can air their complaints and concerns? This absolutely makes no sense to me. Hopefully, the people of Foxboro will reflect their concerns about open meetings during the next town election.