To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to Laconia City Manager Scott Myers:
First: For a reason unknown you have responded to my request which was properly directed to the council's clerk, who records minutes. Moreover, council minutes are retained in the City Clerk department.
Second, you confirmed that that two non-public meetings took place, in October, in which the Belknap Mill Trustees participated.
What is not stated is the date of those meetings, when and where those two meeting notices were posted or under what exception the meetings were held out of public view?
Third, the subject matter for those meetings clearly was the "resources" to maintain the Belknap Mill.
Fourth, As a result of those non-public meetings, decisions were made, otherwise the mayor would not have been able to make a public announcement "that the trustees have decided, declared, that they no longer view themselves as viable owners of the building."
Fifth, in your reply to my RSA 91-A request you provided no dates for either meeting. I have a right to know the place, date and time the non-public meetings took place. A public record shall exist as to when the council convened the time it voted to enter non-public meeting and furthermore, if any decisions were made.
Sixth, a decision to delegate the mayor as spokesperson for the Belknap Mill Society's Board of Directors had to have taken place. Otherwise, the mayor divulged privileged information, placing the City of Laconia in harm's way for making public information that was unknown to Belknap Mill Society members, of which I am a member. The general membership was never informed of the financial plight. To my knowledge, the "members" have taken no vote directing the directors to take any action regarding the sale of the Belknap Mill located at 25 Beacon Street East.
In fact the day prior to the mayor's announcement, the president of the board of trustees, "said that the society is concerned for the future of the mill and is "looking for a partner to work with us to preserve this iconic and historical gem."
Moreover, the mayor or the president of the Belknap Mill Society said nothing about the sale of the building.
Therefore, the exception RSA 91-A:,II (d) (Consideration of the acquisition, sale or lease of real or personal property which, if discussed in public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the general community) is not applicable.
Neither is RSA 91-A:3, II (e) (Consideration or negotiation of pending claims or litigation which has been threatened in writing or filed against the body or agency or any subdivision thereof, or against any member thereof because of his membership in such body or agency, until the claim or litigation has been fully adjudicated or otherwise settled) applicable.
I find no exception per RSA 91-A: II for negotiation regarding a "partnership."
Accordingly, the three non-public meetings on Oct. 14, 2014, or Oct. 27, 2014, could not have been with regards to the Belknap Mill building.
Your response does not rise to the level of an acceptable reply. What is the date of the "private" meetings with the Board of Directors?
Furthermore, for the mayor and council to schedule a public hearing regarding any public building for any non-profit organization, base on "private information," is simply wrong. The taxpayers of the city cannot be forced to become a financial partner. If the intention is to encumber tax dollars, as it did with the Colonial Theater, this endeavor is simply wrong. If any decision based on the two non-public meetings leading to the public hearing, that decision shall be a violation of the Right-to-Know law.
Thomas A. Tardif
- Category: Letters
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