Rowe Selectboard strives for transparency

Monday, January 01, 2018
Rowe working to be more transparent

Earlier this year, Open Meeting Law complaints were filed against the Rowe Selectboard to the Office of the Attorney General for “failing to list the meeting location on the notice of the May 11, 2017 meeting and by deliberating after the meeting had adjourned.”

We, as the Selectboard of Rowe, take these complaints seriously and have implemented changes to address citizens’ concerns meeting the recommendations provided by the Attorney General.

The Rowe Selectboard is now listing the specific meeting room on the posting of each meeting agenda, and have made written recommendations to each Department and Committee head encouraging them to follow suit.

Although Rowe is a small Town Hall, the Selectboard feels it is best practice that groups list the specific meeting room location on their agenda postings.

In addition, the Selectboard encourages that a sign be posted in the entryway and outside the original meeting room indicating any last minute unforeseen room changes.

The Selectboard now audio records each meeting as another method the public may review discussions. While the Office of the Attorney General’s assessment indicates that the Selectboard did not violate the Open Meeting Law by discussing unanticipated topics that were not listed on its May 11 meeting notice, the Selectboard endeavors to maintain this standard of not discussing unlisted topics. If an item not originally listed on an agenda must be discussed, agenda revisions are posted prior to the meeting start time which includes the new items, posting date, and time of the revision.

In closing, we, as the Rowe Selectboard, want to make our citizens aware that the Selectboard of Rowe is committed to transparency and open government and strive to govern the Town of Rowe in accordance with the law, and we welcome any interested or passionate citizens to attend any of our meetings or to comment on any issues or initiatives relating to town business or life in Rowe.

Jennifer Morse, chairwoman

Dennis May, vice chairman

Chuck Sokol, member