While the chairman of the Peru Select Board appears to regard the state’s Open Meeting Law as a nuisance (Eagle, April 22), the law is in place to assure that public officials do the business of the people who elected them in the open and by the rules. It had best be taken seriously.
Peru residents Joseph Kaminski and Kimberley Wetherell do take the law seriously, and their complaints to the Attorney General’s Division of Open Government brought a ruling that the Open Meeting Law was violated September 9 when the Selectmen’s meeting began 35 minutes before the scheduled time, resulting in a stern warning. In two other instances, the board’s actions were upheld by the office. Other practices at board meetings prompted Ms. Wetherell to tell The Eagle that she is "appalled how the public has been disrespected."
Hinsdale is another hill town where taxpayers appear to be seen as a nuisance if they want to be heard. Like it or not, meeting laws must be followed. It is the role of the media and residents to demand that the Open Meeting Law be followed, with the expectation that the attorney general’s office will see that it is, as was the case in Peru.