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Ag Says Wayland Finance Committee Violated Open Meeting Law

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"Although these exchanges concerned documents to be discussed at a future meeting the warrant articles the members expressed opinions about the substance of those documents," wrote Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Sclarsic of the Division of Open Government. "This action should have been taken during an open session." In addition, the Finance Committee violated the Open Meeting Law by failing to respond to Harris complaint, even after the AGs office gave the committee a one-month extension. The AG ordered the Finance Committees future compliance with the law, and cautioned that future similar violations may be considered an intentional violation of the law. The committee must also publicly release the emails in question. Last month, Harris received a split decision from the AGs office in OML complaints he filed against two Wayland boards. Harris complained the Board of Selectmen and Wayland Surface Water Quality Committee were not specific enough in notices for meetings in August and September 2012, in addition to complaining the latter committee did not follow procedure for remote participation by a member. Sclarsic wrote that the Wayland Surface Water Quality Committee violated the Open Meeting Law, but the Board of Selectmen did not. After another complaint by Harris, a Middlesex Superior Court judge stated in late May that the Board of Selectmen should not have gone into executive session on July 8 and 26, 2010, to discuss Town Center developer Twenty Waylands lawsuit against the Wayland Historic District Commission. The law firm Kopelman & Paige will be conducting a training course on the Open Meeting Law for Wayland board members on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

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