Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Letter to City Councilors about Open Meeting Law

Kevin McCrea
218 West Springfield Street
Boston, MA 02118
617-267-2453
617-351-2453 (fax)
May 24, 2005

Dear City Councilor:

My name is Kevin McCrea and I am running for City Council at Large. As you may know I have filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court along with fellow residents Shirley Kressel and Kathleen Devine alleging that the City Council has violated the Open Meeting Law. You may find the complaint on my blog, located at www.electkevin.us. In addition, I have filed a complaint with the District Attorney's office, following up on the complaint that Kathleen Devine filed in January of this year. That complaint resulted in a letter from the District Attorney to the City Council which reads ”This Office recommends that any meeting to which all City Councilors are invited should be posted pursuant to the Open Meeting Law.”

As you are aware, all members of the City Council are invited to a ”Monthly Council Conversations with BRA Director” located in room #924 at City Hall. The next meeting is May 26, 2005 at noon. The meeting has not been posted in accordance with the Open Meeting Law and is not open to the public. No councilor has explained why this meeting should be an exception to the Open Meeting Law. My understanding is that councilors Yancey, Turner, Arroyo and Hennigan boycott these meetings because they believe they violate the Open Meeting Law. I agree with them that such a meeting violates the letter and the spirit of the Open Meeting Law. As a leader in this city I urge you to not attend these meetings, and speak out for an open, honest, transparent government.

I will be at City Hall on Thursday at noon with my camera. I have invited members of the press to attend. I look forward to your explanation as to why it is good government policy for the City Council and the BRA to hold closed monthly meetings. If you do attend the meeting, perhaps you could ask Director Maloney why the citizens of Boston have not received one penny of the $23 million dollars that Heyward Place could have netted the City.

I am thanking you in advance for your commitment to good government.

Sincerely,

Kevin McCreaCandidate for City Council at Large

2 comments:

the sak said...

Boston city council staff director A. Hess has denied access or hampered access to public hearing notices, public meeting agendas, public meeting calendars. Greater accountability is needed at our city's council with respect to freedom of information public records, sunshine open public meeting principles, open government.

Everyone staffing city council offices should be trained and supervised with respect to responding robustly to public enquiries for public information.

A mayoral directive and city council order are needed for the more routine transmittal of city hall departments' public documents and city council public documents to our Boston Public Library Government Documents Reference service.

Make available more city documents on the web,
for example the full text of public hearing notices instead of the too brief calendar listings and minutes of council proceedings, transactions that are not edited to be too brief. Council observers, the public cannot interpret the content of the current too brief minutes nor follow the docket numbers that are not indexed openly.

A records management review panel, committee or commission is needed at city hall, see also
http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/arcrmu/rmuidx.htm

the sak said...

Our Boston city council, council staff director A. Hess, our city clerk and assistant city clerks have been in denial for years even through previous administrations... in denial with respect to the manner how enquiries are handled improperly for city hall departments' information, city council information. The denial is so deep that exhasperated journalists attempting to observe municiipal government have had to accept the gratuitous or inquisitorial responses that are so improper at the city council, city clerk and other city hall departments offices.

The records of public meetings are denied routinely.

How can one councilor move to open municipal government that more people can learn about how our city government works?

More openess would improve the recruiting of skilled people, talented high school students, talented college students to study and fix the challenges of municipal public services