To The Daily Sun,
We, the Sanbornton selectmen, strongly urge you to issue a correction to a letter written by Mr. Bill Whalen (published July 21) that you have titled, "(Sanbornton) Selectmen met in private 11 times in the last 3 months."
This title accuses the selectmen of committing a crime, as it is illegal in the State of New Hampshire for selectmen to meet in "private."
The Sanbornton Selectboard has met in "non-public" sessions over the past few months. These meetings were permitted and legal because N.H. RSA 91-A-3 II(c) reads, "Matters which, if discussed in public would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of the board (may be discussed in a non-public session) unless such person requests an open meeting."
The Sanbornton Selectboard and our town lawyer await you correction.
Johnny Van Tassel
Sanbornton Board of Selectmen
(Editor's note: The author of the referenced letter used the words "secret" and "non-public" to describe the meetings in question. An editor chose to substitute the word "private" for "secret" in the headline placed above the letter. Neither the letter writer nor the newspaper were implying that anything illegal or extralegal was going on. The selectmen are correct in that New Hampshire law refers to legal meetings to which the public is not allowed access as "non-public." But one can argue that the words "private" and "non-public" used, in this context, are synonyms. The result in the same: the public is not allowed to listen in.)
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