Yet Another Right to Know Tug of War

Below is an email I sent out this morning.  It is in response to my Right to Know request to see Tom Geary’s resume and job application for the position of SAU 55 Business Operations Coordinator.  Mr. Geary was, until March 2017, an elected official on the Timberlane Budget Committee.  (Timberlane is administered by SAU 55.)

SAU 55 denied my request.  You can see their position following my email of today.

June 16, 2017

Dear Mrs. Belcher, Mrs. Sherman, and Superintendent Metzler:

Your response to my Right to Know request of June 9th asking to obtain a copy of Mr. Tom Geary’s resume and job application for the position of SAU55 Business Operations Coordinator is not at all satisfactory, nor do I believe it is a correct interpretation of case law.

I would draw your attention to 

​Lambert v. Belnap County Convention, 157 N.H. 375, 385 (2008) in which is it quoted that “applicants for public employment have no privacy interest in their resumes.”
Further:  “[I]f no privacy interest is at stake, the Right-to-Know Law mandates disclosure.”  Lambert, 157 N.H. at 383.
The public interest in disclosure is to allow scrutiny into the actions of SAU 55 and the elected officials involved in the selection process by verifying that the individual hired is indeed qualified for the position. 
In light of this, I would urge you to reconsider your refusal, and provide me and the public I represent with Mr. Geary’s resume and application (redacted for confidential personal information such as Social Security number).

I did not request the referral letters which you reference in your correspondence.​

​Thank you,

Donna Green

Here is SAU 55’s previous response:

Hello Donna,

The documents you are requesting are pre-employment documents (application, reference letters, and a resume) gathered by the District during its hiring process.  Such documents fall under the “internal personnel practices” categorical exemption set forth in RSA 91-A:5,IV.  In Clay v. City of Dover, the court wrote the following:

“The information provided by the applicants to the superintendent search committee was gathered in the course of the hiring process, a process that was internal to the search committee and conducted on behalf of the superintendent’s employer. . . Because the completed rubric forms pertain to “internal personnel practices,” they are exempt from disclosure under the Right-to-Know Law.”

Accordingly, because the documents are categorically exempt records pertaining to the “internal personal practices” of the District as a hiring entity, they will not be disclosed.


I have also asked Mr. Boyle, Chairman of the Timberlane Regional School Board, to request the resume and application for my inspection.  Our school board meeting last night went to midnight and we did not get to “Other Business” so I did not have an opportunity to bring this issue up at last night’s meeting.  Although Mr. Boyle would like at least one July meeting of the board, it is possible we will not be meeting again until August 24. The next SAU 55 meeting is October 4, 2017.

Convenient for SAU 55, isn’t it?

Hear Manchester radio host and school board member, Rich Girard, slay the legal reference to the Clay case cited by SAU 55.  He also says the Manchester Board of School Committee makes public the resumes of employees. Turns out Rich did his own Right to Know request of SAU 55 and got the same answer as I did.  Girard at Large says resume should be public.


Filed under Sandown Issues

2 responses to “Yet Another Right to Know Tug of War

  1. Pingback: Yet Another Right to Know Tug of War | The New Media Militia

  2. Mark Acciard

    As usual Mr. Metzler, Ms. Belcher are perverting the law to obfuscate and obstruct. Once again, your EMPLOYEES are giving you, the taxpayers the middle finger, as they so love to do.

    NO, you can not obtain the resumes and applications for all candidates who submitted them, however you CAN and SHOULD be able to obtain the forms for the person actually hired. As you should for Mr. Metzler himself. Lets see your Doctoral dissertation, Earl. Or Master’s Thesis or Capstone for that matter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s