Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Part 1 RE: Open Meeting Law Alleged Violation

1,009,808@7:41 pm
1,009,764 @ 4:51 pm

Part II will not be published here until we hear back from the AG's office

Division of Open Government
Office of the Attorney General
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 963-2540

Mark Rumley, City Solicitor
Medford City Hall
85 George P. Hassett Drive
Medford, MA 02155

RE: Open Meeting Law Complaint

Dear Attorney General's Office

I have received an e mail from the body, the city of Medford, July 2, 2017 (enclosed) in regards to an open meeting law alleged violation by the mayor, Stephanie Muccini Burke, and Roy Belson, the superintendent of schools, and others regarding a Radio / TV Advisory Committee that has been in operation for at least a year and which elected officials from both the city council and school committee were unaware of.

Point 1:  If elected officials are unaware of the existence of a committee which, ostensibly, oversees monies from cable TV subscribers, the public's right to know is squelched and suppressed intentionally.

Medford City Government employs these tactics in a number of ways, from council meetings to school committee meetings.  I have detailed notes on such outrageous suppression of the public's right to know, which I will HAPPILY share with the office of the Attorney General.

This week I am filing a second Open Meeting Law Complaint on the City Council President, Richard F. Caraviello retaliating and shutting down a Facebook live which gives information to people who do not have cable TV service.   Just as one glaring example of how outrageous the city of Medford is in what residents call the "Medford Media Blackout."

Point 2:  In a public records request response Superintendent Belson's public records officer notes that in the future they will comply with the open meeting law.   They will post the meetings in the future, which we should take as an admission of guilt in this allegation of an open meeting law violation.

The AG's website notes:

Open Meeting Law complaints do not appear in this display unless the complainant is unsatisfied with the public body’s resolution of his or her Open Meeting Law complaint and has filed the complaint with the Attorney General. G.L. c. 30A, § 23(b); 940 CMR 29.05(6).  Upon the receipt of a complaint by any person, the Attorney General shall determine, in a timely manner, whether there has been a violation of the Open Meeting Law.  G.L. c. 30A, § 23(c).

Point #3  This is my official complaint to the AG's office, on Independence Day to make a bold point, as I am unsatisfied, as usual, with the City Solicitor Mark Rumley's expected and traditional response - one that usually protects such a lack of transparency and defends the indefensible. 

Purpose of the Law

The purpose of the Open Meeting Law is to ensure transparency in the deliberations on which public policy is based.  Because the democratic process depends on the public having knowledge about the considerations underlying governmental action, the Open Meeting Law requires, with some exceptions, that meetings of public bodies be open to the public.  It also seeks to balance the public’s interest in witnessing the deliberations of public officials with the government’s need to manage its operations efficiently.
I want the office of the Attorney General to look into this matter, see about the dissolution of a board of directors that the public is unaware of, have a watchdog group oversee access television in Medford, and punish the individuals who perpetrated this absurd secret committee to the full extent of the law.

I will also state as a cable TV host dating back to 1979, I am disappointed in AG Maura Healy failing - as Martha Coakley before her failed, to file charges against the previous non-profit in a timely manner. What is going on with Medford Community Cablevision, Inc.?  I demand answers.

Thank you.

Joe Viglione