To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I’m writing this letter both in admiration and appreciation of Terry Kinnas’ efforts to shed light on the shady and inept practices of both the Pittsfield School Committee and the Reid Middle School Outreach subcommittee. The people of Pittsfield owe Mr. Kinnas gratitude and the School Committee and the Reid subcommittee owe him apologies for putting him through the second version of the Spanish Inquisition at a School Committee meeting earlier this year.
Mr. Kinnas was vindicated by four decisions from the state attorney general’s office finding open meeting violations, one by the School Committee and its chairman, Alf Barbalunga, for using serial emails to communicate, and three violations against the Reid subcommittee for holding locked- door meetings, holding meetings without sufficient public notice and for failing to respond to Mr. Kinnas’ open meeting violation complaint in a timely fashion, or at all for that matter.
Mr. Kinnas was chastised by five School Committee members, who went by the Reid group’s assertions that Mr. Kinnas acted in a "threatening" manner at a meeting he attended at which he told the group that it was violating the open meeting laws. People who have no confidence in themselves are easily threatened and it is my opinion that this is the case in this instance.
The Reid group has claimed that it wasn’t aware of all facets of the open meeting laws. If a person were to coach, for example, youth basketball, he or she would be expected to know the rules and nuances of basketball. If a person heads a group where open meeting laws are applicable then he or she should know the rules and nuances of these laws the same way.
If we had six more Terry Kinnas’ on the School Committee then maybe some constructive initiatives could have been implemented instead of certain people trying to please their special interest group masters. Thank you, Mr. Kinnas, for giving your best effort in your two years on the School Committee and please accept my apologies for the way you were treated by both the Reid group and five other members of the School Committee. You didn’t deserve it.