Timberlane should be applauded for finally posting their non-public minutes online and open to the public. They should be censured, however, for the paucity of information in them which is an affront to citizens of this district.
Below is a typical example of Timberlane’s non-public minutes in their entirety. (Time numbers are time stamps relating to the video recording.) It is excerpted from the May 2, 2013 public meeting minutes, a meeting in which Peter Bealo got censured. In this case, the non-public minutes are embedded in the public minutes and found under “Other Business.” After the vote to go into non-public, the camera was turned off so the subsequent public part of the meeting was conveniently not televised or recorded. This happens a lot and you’ll see why this is so convenient from reading these minutes. (It was to save Mr. Bealo the embarrassment of a televised censure.)
Other Business 02:11:18
Motion: Mr. Mascola motioned to enter into a non-public session under RSA 91-A: 3, II[c] Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely adversely affect the reputation of any person. Mr. Blair seconded.
The board was polled Blair Yes Barczak Yes Bealo Yes Collins Yes Delfino Yes Mascola Yes Steenson Yes Ward Yes [DG: video turned off.]
Motion: Mrs. Barczak motioned to exit the non-public session; seconded by Mrs. Delfino.
The board was polled: Blair Yes Barczak Yes Bealo Yes Collins Yes Delfino Yes Mascola Yes Steenson Yes Ward Yes
The board exited the non-public session at 10:10 pm. No action was taken in non-public session.
————————————–END OF NON-PUBLIC MINUTES————————————————
The May 2, 2013 public minutes continue: Chairman Collins asked Mr. Bealo to explain a breakfast he attended in the capacity of a school board member after the April 4, 2013 school board meeting. Mr. Bealo recapped the discussion and stated his lack of judgment in attending this meeting and offering advice. Chairman Collins explained that Mr. Bealo’s actions in holding a secret meeting to conduct/influence school board business violated the ethics statement signed by Mr. Bealo. A brief discussion ensued.
Motion: Mr. Blair motioned to authorize Chairman Collins to write a letter of censure from the Timberlane Regional School Board to Mr. Bealo. Mr. Mascola seconded.
With no further discussion the motion passed by a vote of 5-1-2. (Mr. Barczak opposed, Mrs. Steenson and Mr. Bealo abstained.)
You will notice that the non-public minutes of May 2, 2013 do not give an indication of what was discussed. That is characteristic of Timberlane’s non-public minutes. They are a waste of the paper they are printed on. By some oversight, we are given a clue of what I suspect took place in non-public by the subsequent discussion of Mr. Bealo’s censure. Of course, the board could have been discussing a problem with a vendor… Read more to see why I say this.
Here are the non-public minutes from the July 16th meeting. (July 16th is when I was censured.) If you watch the video recording, you will see Mr. Collins hand Mr. Bealo a handwritten note from which Mr. Bealo subsequently quotes an RSA to go into non-public under reputation. He would not say whose reputation was at issue, nor was a non-public session indicated on the agenda.
Here are the draft non-public minutes from the July 16th meeting with minor formatting changes to be blog friendly:
Non-public Meeting SAU No 55
July 16, 2014 30 Greenough Road
9:30 PM Plaistow, NHBoard Members Present
Mr. Bealo, Mr. Blair, Mr. Collins, Mrs. Delfino, Mrs. Green, Mr. Mascola, Mrs. Sherman, Mrs. Steenson, and Mr. WardAdministrators Present: Dr. Metzler, Superintendent of Schools; Mr. Stokinger, Business Administrator; Mrs. Danahy, Director of Human Resources and School Board Clerk
Motion: Mr. Bealo motioned to enter into a non-public session under RSA 91-A: 3, II[c] matters
which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person; Mr. Collins seconded.
The board was polled at 9:30 pm:
Bealo Yes; Blair Yes; Collins Yes; Delfino Yes; Green No; Mascola Yes; Sherman Yes; Steenson Yes; Ward YesMrs. Green objected to the need to go into nonpublic session and exited the meeting.
The board conferred on the need to address an issue with a vendor. [My emphasis]
Motion: Mr. Bealo motioned to exit the non-public session; seconded by Mr. Mascola the board was polled:
Bealo Yes; Blair Yes; Collins Yes; Delfino Yes; Mascola Yes; Sherman Yes; Steenson Yes; Ward YesThe board exited the non-public session at 9:35 pm. No action was taken in non-public session.
The law pertaining to non-public sessions does not permit non-public discussion of the behavior of public officials, but that’s OK because they were talking about a VENDOR. I guess the problem just popped into Mr. Collins’ head and it absolutely, positively couldn’t wait to be properly noticed, so imperative was this issue to be addressed in secret. And fortunately the rest of the board was happy to go along with him, not knowing what the issue was.
See the Video of this meeting, specifically 1:57:07 where Mr. Collins passes a handwritten note to Mr. Bealo and 1:58:42 where the non-public is called under “reputation.” http://vimeo.com/100987216
In this instance, video recording of the meeting resumed following the non-public session, so you can see the board proceed to the matter of censuring me. Neither “censure” nor “non-public meeting” was included on the agenda of July 16, 2014.