Council act challenged
Open meeting, FOIA complaints are filed
July 20, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — The saga surrounding the size of the health board took another twist Tuesday when resident George Chenier filed an Open Meeting Law complaint and Freedom of Information Act requests regarding Monday's Town Council meeting.
"I think they violated the Open Meeting Law by not providing material 48 hours prior," Chenier said, referring to the legal requirement that anything "reasonably expected" to come up for discussion must be included on a meeting's agenda.
At issue was a very brief act on Monday which occurred during Councilor's Forum. Then, Richard Logan requested Chairman Steven Lazo rule that the 2004 vote making the Board of Health five members was "out of order" because it violated the Charter, citing Robert's Rules of Order. Lazo quickly agreed to do so.
"It was totally legal," Lazo said Tuesday, claiming Town Manager Christopher Clark told him Town Attorney Robert Caprera had confirmed such a procedural ruling was acceptable.
"It is debatable, but it seems nobody wanted to debate it," Lazo said. "If it would have been debated, I would've called for a roll call," and he said he believed he would have gotten five votes supporting his action.
See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.