Showing posts with label open meeting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label open meeting. Show all posts

Friday, February 18, 2022

School Committee Special Mtg - 02/16/22 (audio) responding to an OPML complaint and amending the mask policy

FM #732 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 732 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the Special School Committee meeting held Wednesday, Feb 16, 2022. 


There are two items on the agenda, one a response to an Open Meeting Law violation claim, and the second, the school district mask policy now that DESE has ended their state rule effect Feb 28, 2022.


Scheduled for 5 PM, the meeting actually begins at 5:26 PM and runs 55 minutes.


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Meeting agenda->  https://www.franklinps.net/sites/g/files/vyhlif4431/f/agendas/scagenda_2-16-22_special_mtg.pdf


My notes -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2022/02/recap-school-committee-meeting-responds.html 


Statement in response to OPML complaint

Copy of "Mask Considerations" doc 

Superintendent memo summarizes the new policy

Photo album from the meeting (mostly screen grabs of the presentation doc)

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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"


School Committee Special Mtg - 02/16/22 (audio)
School Committee Special Mtg - 02/16/22 (audio)


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Recap: School Committee meeting - responds to open meeting law complaint; amends mask policy

Quick recap:
  • (1) Statement in response to the Open Meeting complaint argues that there is no violation. References to the current Open Meeting Law, consultation with FPS attorney and Attorney General's office confirms position
  • (2) Superintendent Ahern went through a presentation to summarize "Mask Considerations" copy provided below
  • Questions and comments from the committee following the presentation, lead to a motion to amend the recommendation changing the date to March 14, it was not seconded so it died. Another motion was proposed to amend the date to March 7, it was seconded but failed by a 4-3 vote
  • The recommendation ultimately passes by 7-0
Statement in response to OPML complaint

Copy of "Mask Considerations" doc 

Superintendent memo summarizes the new policy

Photo album from the meeting (mostly screen grabs of the presentation doc)

ThreadReader provides a PDF of my Twitter thread including the photos inline with the tweets (my notes - taken as the meeting progresses) copy here with link or embedded below:   https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_itSCMzPvtXrUcqaaKuCetpbHH8YhFxM/view?usp=sharing


Recap: School Committee meeting - 2/16/22
Recap: School Committee meeting - 2/16/22

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Franklin School Committee statement in regards to OPML complaint

 

https://www.mass.gov/advisory/state-ethics-commission-advisory-11-1-public-employee-political-activity


Based on the foregoing, there has been no violation of any law as alleged by your Complaint and the Committee does not intend to take further action in response to your requests. In accordance with the Open Meeting Law, a copy of your complaint and this response are being sent to the Attorney General's Office. Thank you.



Sincerely,


Denise Spencer, Chair 

Franklin School Committee

 


cc:     Franklin School Committee

Office of the Attorney General, Division of Open Government



Franklin School Committee statement in regards to OPML complaint
Franklin School Committee statement in regards to OPML complaint


Saturday, February 12, 2022

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Special Meeting - Feb 16, 2022 - 5 PM

Franklin School Committee
February 16, 2022 - 5:00 PM
Municipal Building – Council Chambers

Special School Committee Meeting

Agenda


Call to Order Mrs. Spencer

I. Discussion Only
A. Response to Open Meeting Law complaint against public officers, namely the
members of the School Committee, filed with the Committee by Kyle Thompson
and dated February 3, 2022.

II. Discussion/Action/Possible Vote
A. Policy EBCFA – Face Coverings  

Adjournment 


Policy EBCFA – Face Coverings  -> (Revised Aug 2021)

Ben's guide to mask wearing - #DoYourPartFranklin
Ben's guide to mask wearing - #DoYourPartFranklin

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Finance Committee Meeting - Agenda - Dec 8, 2021

Finance Committee Meeting on December 8, 2021

Agenda
1. Call to Order
2. Public Comments
3. Approval of Minutes:
a. October 13, 2021
b. November 10, 2021
4. 2022 Finance Committee Calendar
5. Community Preservation Act
a. Sample CPA Plans
b. Sample CPA Applications
6. Open Meeting Law discussion
7. Future Agenda Items
8. Adjourn


Please find the agenda and links for the upcoming Finance Committee meeting posted here: https://www.franklinma.gov/node/51/agenda/2021

Agenda doc (PDF) (including remote connection info) ->    https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/agendas/fin_com_agenda_12.8.21.pdf

Finance Committee Meeting - Agenda - Dec 8, 2021
Finance Committee Meeting - Agenda - Dec 8, 2021


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



Monday, November 15, 2021

Town Council - 11/10/21 - re-organization, open meeting law, council comments (audio)

FM #657-658-659 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 657-658-659 in the series. 


This session shares part of the Franklin, MA Town Council meeting held on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. 


The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: members of the Town Council and Town Administration personnel were in the Council Chambers, some members of the public participated in person, some via the Zoom conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.


I’ve split the just about one hour and fifty minutes (1:50 total elapsed time) into three (3) logical segments:

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda. Let’s listen to this segment of the Town Council meeting of Nov 10, 2021


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Agenda document -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/11/franklin-ma-town-council-meeting-agenda.html


My notes from the meeting  ->  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/11/recap-town-council-reorganizes-sort-of.html


Town Council Quarterbacking session (a short recap with Council Chair Tom Mercer) ->  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/11/town-council-quarterbacking-111221-audio.html


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


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 www.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"


Chair Tom Mercer, flanked by Vice Chair Bob Dellorco (left), Clerk Glenn Jones (right)
Chair Tom Mercer, flanked by Vice Chair Bob Dellorco (left), Clerk Glenn Jones (right)


Friday, November 12, 2021

Recap: Town Council reorganizes (sort of); hears about open meeting law, etc. appoints 4 to Cultural Council; closes with Executive Session

Quick Recap:
  • Town Clerk Nancy Danello sworn in (2nd time, first time on election night), then she swears in the Town Council
  • Council reorganizes by nomination and vote to retain Mercer, Dellorco, and Jones as Chair, Vice-Chair and Clerk respectfully; so while they have officially re-organized, there is no change in the leadership at this time
  • Appointments of four individuals to Cultural Council approved
  • Overview of Open Meeting, Law, Ethics, etc. provided by Attny Mark Cerel. As many times as I have seen this overview (8 times, I think?), it is good to review, something different catches my attention each time.
  • Council entered Executive Session to discuss the latest on the Prospect St property situation and did not return to open session

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As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter. I participated in the meeting in the Council Chambers. 


The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #tc1110

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tc1110&src=typeahead_click 


Agenda document -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/11/franklin-ma-town-council-meeting-agenda.html


  • getting ready for the Town Council meeting to begin shortly - agenda doc and remote connection info -> https://franklinmatters.org/2021/11/franklin-ma-town-council-meeting-agenda.html…  #tc1110
  • Motion to nominate Mercer as Chair, seconded, approved 9-0; motion to nominate Dellorco as Vice-Chair; seconded, approved 9-0 motion to nominate Jones, seconded, passes 9-0 #tc1110
  • motion to adopt procedure manual -> ADOPTION OF TOWN COUNCIL PROCEDURE MANUAL: Resolution 21-67       https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/3._21-67_adoption_of_council_procedures.pdf…  #tc1110  subcommittee will review and propose revisions possible  -  seconded, passes 9-0
  • meeting protocol statement read by Chair Mercer; meeting options, Zoom, cable Verizon/Comcast, and live stream - Citizen comments; Rev Juncker and Rabbi Alpert step forward to make Interfaith Council as they did at #schCom1109 meeting  #tc1110
  • statement on #LoveFranklin can be found -> https://franklinmatters.org/2021/10/a-call-to-our-community-lovefranklin.html…  #tc1110 (BTW - I am a signer of this statement, one of the 365 community members)
  • J Callaway-Tripp after an atrocious election, congratulations, I hope you do wonderful things #tc1110
  • approval of minutes from 10/06/21 meeting, motion, seconded, passes 9-0  #tc1110
  • APPOINTMENTS a. Franklin Cultural Council: Venus Senjam - motion, seconded, passes 9-0  #tc1110 Cormier-Leger, Frongillo, Jones - thanks to these candidates, good candidates
  • APPOINTMENTS b. Franklin Cultural Council: Patrick Kinner#tc1110 - motion, seconded, passes 9-0 c. Franklin Cultural Council: Shelley Green - motion, seconded, passes 9-0d. Franklin Cultural Council: Jacob Juncker - motion, seconded, passes 9-0
  • LICENSE TRANSACTIONS a. Residence Inn Boston Franklin, License Modification, Change of Manager, Officers/Directors/ LLC Managers & Change of ownership Interest, 4 Forge Parkway, Franklin, MA 02038  #tc1110  motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0
  • License modification -> b. Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc. d/b/a Shaw's, License Modification, Change of Officers/Directors/LLC Managers, 255 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038  #tc1110 motion, seconded, passes 9-0
  • license modification - c. 99 Restaurants of Boston, LLC d/b/a The Ninety-Nine, License Modification, Change of Officers/Directors/LLC Managers, 847 West Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038  #tc1110 motion, seconded, passes 9-0
  • Farmers Market license - D. La Cantina Winery Company, Farmer-Winery, Farmer’s Market License, 355 Union Street, Franklin, MA 02038 #tc1110 motion, seconded, passes 9-0 3rd time for the Market at Fairmount Fruit Farm (11/20/21)
  • Presentation: Open Meeting Law, Public Records, Ethics and Conducting a Public Meeting - Mark Cerel, Town Attorney Memo - > https://drive.google.com/file/d/15Ft8UZqacUKK2AT_rieHgQl4NFNR0-Xu/view?usp=sharing…  Presentation Doc - >   https://drive.google.com/file/d/15KP9W1fQTC5rOiiO_OBi6HFZv_PHtG0t/view?usp=sharing…  #tc1110
  • starting with page 11 of the presentation doc - this is the short story version - each of these topics could take more time to review thoroughly #tc1110 applicable for open meeting law when a quorum is together;
  • in open meeting law, public has right to be present but not an absolute right to participate, subject to the chair of the public body; there are consequences for enforcement #tc1110 no blanket immunity for speech, potential liability for any comments if derogatory, threatening
  • shifting to public records law - includes all forms of documents including electronic  - the document itself is the public record regardless of the device it located on; i.e. a personal device. #tc1110 there are town business email accounts for Town Council/School Committee …
  • to help with the separation of the town business and personal business. There are public records officers defined within Municipal operations, most requests are from outside for some other purpose - we don't have a lot of requests as the website is so stocked with docs. #tc1110
  • the easiest answer; if you are thinking about posting it, don't; #tc1110 shifting to ethics - this is a criminal statue  - Town Council members are considered "municipal employees" and covered by all "statutory prohibitions and restrictions"
  • identify the potential conflict sooner than later and recuse yourself at the outset. #tc1110 Ethics Commission can be helpful and then be an investigator and hearing leading to decisions for civil and criminal as required
  • next up - conducting public hearings - #tc1110 differences in liability between legislative role (most resolutions) and administrative (i.e. alcohol license or violations) - be careful about what you do
  • a. Resolution 21-65: Cable Funds in Support of PEG Service and Programming per MGL Ch. 44, §53F3/4 - $18,500.22 (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-65 - Majority Vote) - motion, seconded, passes 9-0 #tc1110
  • b. Resolution 21-66: Gift Acceptance: Veterans Service Department ($3,295.00) and Fire Department ($965.00) (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-66- Majority Vote) #tc1110 motion, seconded, passes 9-0
  • Town Administrator's Report - thanks and congratulations to the successful candidates; cafe will be closed at Senior Center, deep cleaning to be done, also expanding tax workoff to include the cafe; #tc1110  Nov 18, at FHS auditorium also Zoom feature
  • future agenda items; accessory dwelling units for Economic Development; Civil discourse pledge should be taken up; Housing Authority coming Nov 17 as the feature presentation; #tc1110 Councilor Comments - grade 6 youth football game coming this weekend, best wishes
  • need to leaf pickup to assist other seniors to help them with taking the leaves to the transfer station/Beaver St #tc1110 vandalism at FHS bathrooms, work closely with Superintendent and their staff, etc. incidents are taken seriously. dealing with minors and legal process …
  • mental health related issues, a lot of grief and difficulty out there today, not completely surprised. #tc1110 Frongillo touting talk on Mon on "Strong Towns" (info to be shared later) 9:30 AM
  • thanks to the voters; Pellegri tapping on to the Chandler comments about the vandalism; has suggestions on how to stop it; #tc1110 Jones touting Mamma Mia performances this weekend (Fir/Sat) (see the community calendar for details)
  • Thanks to the voters, awesome to see all the folks come out; wish the veterans the best; Nov 18 is an important event, #tc1110 good story on an issue raised last night, SAFE Coalition has a plan underway for the individual today; congratulate all the newly elected
  • thanks also to all those who stepped up to run, even if they were not successful, there are other opportunities to stay involved #tc1110 do need to enter Executive Session - prospect St - not to return to open meeting ; vote to enter, vote via roll call - passes 9-0

 

Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days


Town Clerk Nancy Danello sworn in by justice of the peace
Town Clerk Nancy Danello sworn in by justice of the peace