standing letters

There is a principle that says, you get what you reward.

It appears that the new Westerly Town Council is wasting no time in following in the footsteps of the previous council. Even before being sworn in, the majority of council members engaged in an apparent violation of the Open Meeting Act by conferencing, in private, in order to preselect the council president. The previous town council made a mockery of the Open Meetings Act by conducting excessive, frequent and questionable executive sessions. The previous town council exploited a loophole in the Open Meetings Act by convening numerous executive sessions. Executive sessions are closed to the public. Announced executive session agenda items can be vague and misleading. The minutes of the executive sessions are sealed. There is no oversight or monitoring of the executive session proceedings.

Violations of the Open Meetings Act can only be viewed after the fact and usually involve blatant and extreme abuses. Disproportionate and unwarranted executive sessions that do not conform to the strict rules governing these activities are the complete antithesis of open government.

The recent election indicates that a majority of Westerly voters not only approve of, but actually support, the policy of backroom politics. In Westerly town government, business as usual is rewarded.

Jim Angelo


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