The HBOS (Henniker Board of Selectmen) held a properly called and noticed meeting on Friday October 27, 2017. (Notice)
In compliance with RSA 91:A, ” “Openness in the conduct of public business is essential to a democratic society. The purpose of this chapter is to ensure both the greatest possible public access to the actions, discussion and records of all public bodies, and their accountability to the people.” RSA 91-A:1,” the Town of Henniker routinely posts all Public Meeting Notices on the town’s web page.
The only item of business on the posted Public Notice for the Public Meeting (Notice) was to authorize the purchase of a sidewalk tractor and attachments.
However, the HBOS took action on TWO items that were not on the Public Notice:
In just over 5 weeks (Item 5a page 4) a SECOND Change Order was issued for the Western Ave. Reconstruction project; “Chairman Blomback moved, Selectman Flynn seconded to authorize the Town Administrator to sign a change order with Pike Industries for a cost increase for a winter binder. Motion passed 4-0.” The minutes reflect that a decision was made and action taken despite the fact that no such item was Noticed to the Public for action in the public meeting. Most importantly, the minutes reflect that no explanation, discussion or deliberations of the cost increases mentioned in bullet point #1 occurred. (minutes page 2) How much was this increase for?
“Selectman Flynn moved, Selectman French seconded to appoint Stefanie Costello as Emergency Management Director for a three year term to expire on September 1, 2020. Motion passed 2-1-0,Chairman Blomback was opposed.”
A properly called non-public session was held on October 27th for the expressed purpose of interviewing candidates for the Emergency Management Director’s position. Item #8 Minutes from the October 17th HBOS meeting, “The closing date for the Emergency Management Director was October 6th, 2017. Interviews will be held on Friday, October 27th beginning at 9AM.” The minutes reflect that a decision was made and action taken despite the fact that no such item was Noticed to the Public for action in the public meeting. Most importantly, the minutes reflect that no explanation, discussion or deliberations as to the reasons why a NEW director was being hired. (minutes page 2) OHB will have a separate blog specifically detailing this decision.
Taking action on items that are NOT on the posted Public Meeting Notice, violates the Right to Know Law! This type of deception should not be tolerated.
Items of Public Interest, such as project cost overruns, should always be discussed and deliberated in open public meetings. Failure to do so is poor Corporate Governance.
Why do we continue to tolerate being kept in the dark?
We place our Trust on our elected officials who SWEAR an OATH-a covenant-to make sure that we are fully informed…These kind of actions damage that covenant and weakens my trust.
OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..
“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”