Showing posts with label discussion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label discussion. Show all posts

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Open Meeting Law Guidance Spotlight: Subcommittees and Sub-quorum Communications

From the MA Attorney General's Office on Open Meeting Law Guidance:

Guidance Spotlight: Subcommittees and Sub-quorum Communications

This month we offer guidance on the creation of subcommittees under the Open Meeting Law, and permissible communications among members that constitute less than a quorum of a public body.  We recognize that public body members want to conduct business efficiently and effectively.  However, public body members must exercise caution when communicating and carrying out the public body’s responsibilities outside of a properly posted meeting.  The Open Meeting Law prohibits deliberation outside of a posted meeting. “Deliberation” is communication among a quorum on a matter within the public body’s jurisdiction.  Because the Open Meeting Law focuses on communications among a quorum, there is no prohibition on communications outside of a meeting that do not involve or reach a quorum of members—as long as the members are not also a quorum of a subcommittee.  Therefore, it is important to understand whether members of a public body may constitute a designated subcommittee.

The Open Meeting Law defines “public body” as any “multiple-member board, commission, committee or subcommittee within the executive or legislative branch or within any county, district, city, region or town, however created, elected, appointed or otherwise constituted, established to serve a public purpose.”  G.L. c. 30A, § 18.  The Law further defines a “subcommittee” as “any multiple-member body created to advise or make recommendations to a public body.”  Id.  A public body forms a subcommittee when the body formally authorizes multiple members of the public body to advise or make recommendations to the public body.  Whether a subcommittee was created hinges on the public body’s action and whether it intended to create a multiple-member body, or whether it intended to assign the task to one person, even if another member of the public body subsequently volunteers to assist. Therefore, if a single member undertakes a task, or multiple members decide on their own to communicate about a matter or prepare a recommendation without having been designated to do so, no subcommittee is created. Furthermore, the name of a group—whether called a subcommittee, a “working group,” a “task force” or something else—will still be subject to the Open Meeting Law if it is a multiple-member body created to advise or make recommendations.  Even subcommittees that have members who are not part of the public body will be subject to the Open Meeting Law if they meet the Open Meeting Law’s definition of “public body.”

Subcommittees are public bodies in their own right, which means they must follow all of the Open Meeting Law’s requirements applicable to public bodies.  Subcommittee members should be particularly careful about any communications they have with their fellow subcommittee members in order to avoid deliberating outside of a posted meeting, as the subcommittee has its own (smaller) quorum.  The quorum of a public body, including a subcommittee, is a simple majority of its members, unless otherwise provide by law.  Therefore, although it is generally permissible for public body members to communicate amongst themselves outside of a posted meeting as long as the communications do not involve or reach a quorum (whether concurrently or serially), public body members must always be cognizant of the makeup and quorum of the public body, including any subcommittees on which they serve.

Determinations Regarding Subcommittees and Sub-quorum Communications:

OML 2021-176: Finding no violation of the Open Meeting Law because text message conversations did not contain or reach a quorum of the Board.  In all cases, the Board members engaged in one-on-one text exchanges during the meeting.  In addition, we find no evidence of serial deliberation among a quorum of the Board.

OML 2021-115: Subcommittee deliberated outside of a posted meeting, in violation of the Open Meeting Law, when a quorum of the Subcommittee discussed the status of a matter that was clearly within the Subcommittee's jurisdiction outside of a posted meeting.

OML 2018-128: Board did not create a subcommittee where the Board took no vote after one member offered to research a topic and another member of the public body subsequently volunteered to assist.

OML 2017-111: Board did not create a subcommittee where the Board clearly intended to assign a task to one person and another member of the public body subsequently volunteered to assist.

OML 2016-96: Working Group did not create a subcommittee where two members of the Working Group, on their own initiative, worked on projects for the benefit of the Working Group, without the Working Group taking any official action to delegate that responsibility to the two members. 

For more info on Open Meeting Law visit ->  https://www.mass.gov/the-open-meeting-law

Open Meeting Law Guidance Spotlight: Subcommittees and Sub-quorum Communications
Open Meeting Law Guidance Spotlight: Subcommittees and Sub-quorum Communications



Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Strong Towns Event @ THE BLACK BOX - 11/15/21 (audio)

FM #661 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 661 in the series. 


This session of the radio show shares the Strong Towns Town Hall event with Congressman Jake Auchincloss, State Rep Jeff Roy, Franklin Town Councilor Cobi Frongillo, and Charles Marohn from Strong Towns. 


The event was held at THE BLACK BOX and broadcast via Franklin TV and Zoom. 


After a round of opening remarks, there is a question and answer period with audience participation. Each question asker identifies themselves so you should be able to follow along.

 

The recording runs about 1  hour and 14 minutes, so let’s listen to the Strong Towns Event on Nov 15, 2021. Audio file -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/9af1799e-c16d-4b73-8329-74515b343b2f



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My notes from the session

https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/11/recap-strong-towns-event-fostering.html 


More about Strong Towns can be found online -> https://www.strongtowns.org/


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We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  


This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

 

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know


Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.


For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/ or www.franklin.news/


If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com


The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.


I hope you enjoy!

------------------


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

 


Monday, November 15, 2021

Stockdale Paradox: stoically accepting reality while maintaining faith in the endgame

"Every good-to-great company faced significant adversity along the way to greatness, of one sort or another. … In every case, the management team responded with a powerful psychological duality. On the one hand, they stoically accepted the brutal facts of reality. On the other hand, they maintained an unwavering faith in the endgame, and a commitment to prevail as a great company despite the brutal facts. We came to call this duality the Stockdale Paradox.

The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest-ranking United States military officer in the "Hanoi Hilton" prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over twenty times during his eight-year imprisonment from 1965 to 1973, Stockdale lived out the war without any prisoner's rights, no set release date, and no certainty as to whether he would even survive to see his family again. …"

Read more about the Stockdale Paradox online -> 
https://www.jimcollins.com/concepts/Stockdale-Concept.html

Listen to Shane Parish's discussion with Jim Collins. Before they close their conversation, they talk about the Stockdale Paradox ->  https://fs.blog/knowledge-podcast/jim-collins-2/



Stockdale Paradox: stoically accepting reality while maintaining faith in the endgame
Stockdale Paradox: stoically accepting reality while maintaining faith in the endgame

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Interested in Public Records Law? This discussion might be for you

Join us Nov. 18 along with @RappaportCenter for a Greater Boston Debate Series event exploring whether the MA public records law promotes democracy in the state, featuring  @Becca_Rausch,  @raylaraja, and moderated by @CommonWealthMag 's  @shiraschoenberg. 

Register here ->    https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oVQ9MRZ-T7GaWpSvurjGbA



Interested in Public Records Law? This discussion might be for you
Interested in Public Records Law? This discussion might be for you


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Non-toxic social network alternatives to Facebook

I had the good fortune to participate in a couple of Good Experience Live (GEL) Conferences in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Mark Hurst is an insightful engaging thought leader. He continues to write and broadcast on tech topics. HE is the owner founder of the Creative Good agency. https://creativegood.com/mark-hurst/

His Good Report has a post on 'non-toxic social networks'. This is one place where we can look at what he shares and explore the options to replace Franklin Matters on Facebook. Stay tuned as we explore. If you have any experience with what is listed, please feel free to share via email or comment.

"Here's our favorite non-toxic social network: Mastodon.

Why: Today's giant social networks make money on surveillance, manipulation, and amplification of toxic content. If you're tired of the garbage on Twitter and Facebook, head over to Mastodon: a decentralized, non-corporate network of Twitter-like servers. Without the constant need to monetize "engagement," Mastodon provides a more civil, low-key platform for posting and networking. And it's free.

(On Mastodon, follow Good Reports founder Mark Hurst: @markhurst@mastodon.social)"



Mark's Good Report also has a listing on RSS Readers to add to what I shared yesterday.  https://goodreports.com/post/rss-reader.html

For those interested in a deep dive into my archives, here are the collected writing for each of the GEL Conferences in (the links should still work although the webpages has been dormant for years).


Non-toxic social network alternatives to Facebook
Non-toxic social network alternatives to Facebook 


Friday, September 24, 2021

FM #610 - Complete Streets Public Discussion - 09/22/21 (audio)

FM #610 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 610 in the series. 


This shares the Complete Streets Public Discussion meeting that was held on Wednesday, September 22, 2021


The meeting was conducted in a hybrid mode; Town Administration and DPW staff along with some public participants were present in the Council Chambers. Others were able to via the Zoom conference bridge. 


Yes, I do participate in this session to ask about the documentation shared to those in the room and not yet available for those remote. I also raise a few points on safe walking issues around town.


Links to the meeting agenda and my notes are in the show notes. The meeting recording runs about twenty-six minutes (~:26) .  Let’s listen to the Complete Streets Public Discussion for Sep 22


** Audio file =>  
https://player.captivate.fm/episode/673635f4-cffc-4396-8017-b4f2e5498161


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Town of Franklin Complete Streets page ->   https://www.franklinma.gov/engineering/pages/complete-streets

--------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial


This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

 

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know


Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

 

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com


The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.


I hope you enjoy!

------------------


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

 

What's with Complete Streets?
What's with Complete Streets?

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Mass. Transportation (@MassDOT) with reference points on shared streets and shared use paths

With our input sought for the Complete Streets Discussion tonight, here are a couple of pieces of background info on the program and its related programs. Agenda document with participation info for the discussion found here =>  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/09/complete-streets-public-discussion-sep.html


Reference 1
There are 846 miles of shared use paths in Massachusetts. Learn more about MassDOT's shared use path investments in the 2021 Bicycle and Pedestrian Update #SharedUsePaths https://t.co/PWmT5YCyWW

Shared from Twitter ->  https://t.co/mZC8EEkDmW


There are 846 miles of shared use paths in Ma
There are 846 miles of shared use paths in MA


Reference 2

The @MassDOT Shared Streets & Spaces program encourages planners and local leaders to rethink how we use pavement. Prioritizing space for dining, parks and visual arts promotes economic development and quality of life in communities all across MA. #BuildBackBetter #mapoli https://t.co/5QsShVsYPW
Shared from Twitter -> https://twitter.com/T4MASS/status/1440311515861565454?s=03

@MassDOT Shared Streets & Spaces program encourages planners and local leaders to rethink how we use pavement.
@MassDOT Shared Streets & Spaces program encourages planners and local leaders to rethink how we use pavement.


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Complete Streets Public Discussion - Sep 22 - 6:00 PM

Complete Streets Public Discussion
September 22, 2021 - 6:00 PM

Meeting will be held at the Municipal Building
2nd floor, Council Chambers 355 East Central Street 

Complete Streets program
The Town Administration and Town Public Works staff will be hosting a meeting to discuss the Town’s initial filing of its Complete Streets program with the state on October 1st. 
If any member of the public wishes to attend this discussion, please feel free to attend.

The Complete Streets Policy was approved by the Town Council on April 7, 2021. 

Remote connection info can be found in the meeting agenda:


What's with Complete Streets?
What's with Complete Streets?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Ode to Billie Joe - "Around our dinner tables we have long struggled to talk about loss"

"In the 1980s, I taught for a year in the Deep South and had a love affair along the kudzu-snarled banks of the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Penelope (not her real name) was a love child who’d been adopted and raised in Missouri by a conservative Baptist family. She once told me if I wanted to understand the South, I needed to listen to “Ode to Billie Joe.” These memories came back recently as I tried to comprehend anti-vaxxers, voting restrictions, Southern leaders seemingly intent on disaster, and, most of all, the Texas law prohibiting most abortions.

“Ode to Billie Joe,” written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1967, is an elegy that became a hit in many countries, knocking “All You Need Is Love” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” out of the number one spot on the charts. The song and album won three Grammys. Gentry was just 23 years old when the Southern Gothic song she wrote, sang, and produced caused a sensation. Her manuscripts can be found alongside those of Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner in the archives of the University of Mississippi, in the state where she was born."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required) 



Tuesday, July 27, 2021

FM #586 - Breaking 'radio silence' on "Men & Miscarriage" - 07/21/21 (audio)

FM #586 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 586 in the series. 


This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Franklin residents Aaron and MJ Gouveia. You may recall that Aaron and I talked about his first book outdoors on the Town Common in May of 2020. 


We had this conversation in the Franklin Public Radio studios on Hutchinson St.  MJ joined us for this session as she is co-author of their new book Men and Miscarriage. A key quote from the intro to the new book: “When it comes to men and how they are impacted by these issues, it’s almost complete radio silence.”


We had a great conversation to help break the ‘radio silence’ (yes, pun intended) on this topic of miscarriage and how it affects both members of the relationship. My kudos to both of them for starting the conversation on this tough topic. The statistics show that one in four women do experience a miscarriage.  “Half the battle is knowing you are not alone.”


In some of my conversations after our recording session, it has been enlightening to find out how many folks I talk with who reveal that they have had one or more miscarriages in their immediate or extended family. One key take away you’ll hear about is to ask someone; “How are you doing?”


The show notes include links to the Amazon book page, Aaron’s Daddy Files book web page. MJ tends to avoid social media and occasionally writes on Aaron’s page.


The recording runs about 32 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with MJ and Aaron.


Audio file -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/382fc625-e1ac-4f3a-90b0-cfb4c0d9d256



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Men and Miscarriage: A Dad's Guide to Grief, Relationships, and Healing After Loss – published July 6, 2021  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1510763600/


Link to the CNN article mentioned  https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/15/health/miscarriage-men-grief-loss-wellness/index.html


A discussion at the Franklin Public Library scheduled for Sep 1.


MJ's post as discussed during the conversation: https://www.daddyfiles.com/mj-speaks-out-2/


First book links: 



-------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm). 


This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

 

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know


Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

 

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/  or www.franklin.news 

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com


The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.


I hope you enjoy!

------------------


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

 

FM #586 - Breaking 'radio silence' on  "Men & Miscarriage" - 07/21/21 (audio)
FM #586 - Breaking 'radio silence' on  "Men & Miscarriage" - 07/21/21 (audio)

Friday, June 18, 2021

Recap: Economic Development Subcommittee - discussion on housing plan and requirements for home based businesses

Quick Recap:
  • The housing production plan was reviewed and discussed. Key among the actions is to further obtain any and all citizen input/comment by June 25 and update this draft. The revised plan would then be approved by Planning Board and Town Council before being submitted to the State for acceptance.
  • Key to specific items to address the housing would be the zoning assessment. This analysis would provide an objective 3rd party view on what we have and what we could do to allow for appropriate and affordable housing
  • Discussion on home based businesses. Good to boot strap a concept, Health Dept is ok with food production as long as the ServeSafe and other related food prep requirements are adhered to. The wrinkle comes with handling the sewer waste and implementation of a grease trap which can be expensive.
  • The Town is not prepared for how to address this opportunity. More research is required which they will conduct during the next couple of months and bring back to Subcommittee for further discussion.
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As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
 
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #edc0616
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Edc0616&src=typed_query 

Photos captured during the meeting can be found in one album
https://photos.app.goo.gl/AayFgpTfmSzB3Y2w9

  • EDC meeting to begin soon, awaiting quorum #edc0616
  • Without quorum, may at least open meeting and have a discussion. #fincom0616
  • Quorum achieved (with virtual participation of Frongillo and Bissanti), EDC meeting opens at 7:09 PM. #edc0616
  • Chair Hamblen opens meeting, reads protocol statement, #fincom0616 First item, housing production plan for discussion if needed, plan can be found https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/franklin_housing_production_plan_-_may_2021_public_draft.pdf 
  • Feedback sought as part of the draft review process. #fincom0616
  • Cool to be back in Municipal Bldg, Planner Amy Love provides an overview of the plan, similar to what was presented earlier in Housing Trust meeting #edc0616
  • My notes from that (Municipal Affordable Housing Trust) meeting, for the record, can be found https://franklinmatters.org/2021/06/recap-municipal-affordable-housing.html?m=1 #edc0616
  • Difference in accounting between apartment and residential units, all apartments count if only a smaller # are affordable; for owned residential units only the # affordable apply to the housing rate (i.e. 6 of 30, only the 6 - if apartments, 6 of 30 all 30 count) condos ->
  • Condos count as owned units so only the # would count (like other owned residential, not like apartments). #edc0616 What is considered affordable for Franklin? Major issue
  • Development costs are hire, art zoning would need to have incentives to allow the developers to make the money back that they give up making some of the units affordable. #edc0616
  • Multiple discussion points on affordable and how to tackle it, the new housing behind Eaton Place will help but it won't be online soon (still needs funding) #edc0616
  • Motion to move housing plan forward to planning board and to Council for approval incorporating the changes and comments #edc0616 passes 4-0 via roll call.
  • Moving to home occupied businesses for next part of discussion. #edc0616
  • How do you permit a bootstrap business from a home, some i.e. kitchens can pose health concerns, others may have traffic/delivery issues for neighbors. #edc0616 permit some level of production up to which they're good, beyond that next level up. ZBA may be an option
  • In commercial areas, need to protect the sewer system, with grease traps, when blockages occur it stops things and that is not good. Title 5 systems are built for 3 or 4 bedrooms not commercial industry business. #edc0616 who acts the agent for volume?
  • We can't use the ZBA or planning board and their temporary benevolence, if something is good, let's make it right. #edc0616 strict guidelines on food prep, zoning is the issue in the case of chocolate bars (as the talking point example)
  • let's provide some time to research, see what others are doing, Boston is a whole different system. #edc0616 what might work, what would be some controls, there is no capacity at Charles River. we do need to consider the big picture of affordability
  • Motion to adjourn, second, passes 4-0 via roll call #fincom0616 

Audio file to be available in a couple of days

discussion on housing plan and requirements for home based businesses
discussion on housing plan and requirements for home based businesses


Friday, March 26, 2021

FM #500 - School Committee Meeting - 03/23/21 - P3 of 3 - Discussion action items to Closing

FM #500 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 500 in the series. 

This session shares part of the Franklin, MA School Committee meeting held on Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021. 

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: some of the School Committee members, Central Office personnel, and key guests were in the Council Chambers; the remainder, along with the public, were remote via conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

I’ve split the just almost three hour meeting into three logical segments:
  • First - covers the school budget public hearing (approx. 1 hour and 27 minutes)
  • Second - pick up the regular meeting and Jefferson presentation (approx. 43 mins)
  • *** Third - from the discussion action items through to the end of the public meeting (approx. 39 minutes)
The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda and to my notes. The meeting packet folder will hold the other documents released for the meeting.
Let’s listen to this segment of the School Committee meeting of Mar 23, 2021


--------------

--------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm).

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.
 
How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.
 
For additional information, please visit   Franklinmatters.org/  or www.franklin.news/

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!

------------------

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters" 

 

FM #500 - School Committee Meeting - 03/23/21 - P3 of 3 - Discussion action items to Closing
FM #500 - School Committee Meeting - 03/23/21 - P3 of 3 - Discussion action items to Closing