Tonight, in an astonishing development, the SAU board voted in public session to unseal and then seal again the controversial minutes of the May 12, 2016 meeting in which Dr. Metzler was awarded his raise and bonus. Readers of this blog know there is a lawsuit filed against the district asking the court to make the minutes public, and to adjudicate a number of other Right to Know law issues.
The original single set of (sealed) non-public minutes was divided into two sets of minutes for this meeting. The vote to unseal the first set was 10 in favor, 1 against (Dube). The vote to unseal the second set of minutes was unanimous.
The vote to subsequently seal (again) the first set under the terrorism and security exemption was 9 in favor and 2 against (Green and Dinsmore).
The vote to seal (again) the second set of minutes concerning the superintendent’s raise and bonus under “reputation” was 6 in favor and 5 against. (Cirpriano, Dube, Dinsmore, Green and Spero against.)
Curiously, Mr. Collins, whose Facebook posting about the nonpublic minutes has led to a great deal of controversy and is cited in the litigation, was absent from the meeting. He has much time for Facebook, but evidently not much time for critical votes of his elected office. I heard there was a Red Sox game tonight.
Also absent from the meeting were Atkinson’s Jack Sapia and Sandown’s Kelly Ward.
This public session was preceded by a half hour of non-public discussion under the pending litigation exemption allowed under RSA 91-A. An audio recording of the public session will be added to this posting within the hour.
The lawsuit is to be heard at Rockingham Superior Court at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31.
In my opinion, it is an outrage that any taxpayer money is being used to defend this suit. Everyone who voted to reseal the second set of minutes should put their own money up to pursue this in court.
8/30/16 CORRECTION: Previously this posting said the hearing would be video taped by the court and later made available. This is done by the state Supreme Court but not at the Superior Court level yet.