Saturday, August 13, 2005

Thursday's Hearing in Suffolk Superior Court on Open Meeting Law

I will write more about this later, but the long and short of it is that the City's Motion to Dismiss our lawsuit appears likely to be denied and we have a pre-trial conference for October 11, 2005.

I literally cried at home thursday night, thinking about the injustice of the arguments that Mark Sweeney the attorney for the City Council was making. His final grasp at a straw to the judge was that the city council can meet in closed meetings with the BRA because in regards to the BRA the city council had no more authority than a common man in the street. The judge looked at him, smiled, and said "I don't buy that".

I would like to repeat. THE ATTORNEY REPRESENTING THE CITY COUNCIL ARGUED BEFORE THE COURT THAT THE CITY COUNCIL HAS NO SAY WHATSOEVER OVER THE BRA. In other words, the citizens through their elected officials the city council have no say whatsoever over the planning and development of their neighborhoods and their city.

There are only 3 possible outcomes at this point:

1) We settle with the City Council and give them the opportunity to take back power over the BRA (we sent them this olive branch weeks ago)

2) We have a trial and the City Councilors get called under oath to testify about what they do behind closed doors

3) They delay and deny using whatever legal shenanigans they can for as long as they can before they finally admit to wrongdoing so they don't have to testify.

Only option 1 is in the best interests of the city and of the citizens. I have hope, but not a lot of faith, that they will have the courage to put the interests of the City ahead of their own.

1 comment:

the sak said...

City Hall in general has been contempuous of sunshine open meetings, FOI freedom of information public records open government principles. It's symptomatic of local municipal government that officials and staff deny, delay access to public meetings, public information.

Our cities' public libraries need to do more with regard to acquisition and accession of local government public documents. If you would, please consider contacting Boston Public Library president Bernie Margolis bmargolis@bpl.org tel 617 536-5400

We need to advocate for ever more city documentation on the web and the more routine transmittal of municipal public documents to our BPL Government Documents collections where people can read materials after 5pm and on weekends. A Mayoral Directive and a City Council order are needed for the more routine transmittal of municipal public documents to Boston Public Library.