A resident complained to me this morning at my selectman office hours about the fact that it is difficult to get advance notice of town board meetings one may be interested in attending. In this instance, Tony Centore said that he has been following the recommendations made by the Economic Development Committee for the use of the town owned Lot 3 off Ice House Road, since he has advocated that the site be devoted to housing for seniors, due to the special synergies from the proximity to The Center.
Tony does subscribe to the town daily email that comes each morning and lists all the town board meeting taking place that day, but in this instance, he failed to see that email until after the Economic Development Committee meeting had already taken place last night.
I agree that the town needs to create a better system so that people who are interested in following and/or getting information from a particular town board should be able to:
- sign up to get sent to them the meeting notices at the same time those notices are sent to the committee members, plus
- likewise similarly receive any documents sent out to the board members of that committee.
This makes sense to do because the town information should be made universally available to residents, and technology allows for this process to be automated (and operated via an online sign up system). All meeting notices are required to be posted at least 48 hours before the meeting occurs, so there should be no reason that the town’s current email notice could not at least give two days advance notice of all meetings.
- Town meetings are all open meetings, open to anyone; and
- The documents are all public records and should be readily available to interested residents.
The town system should make it both easy and totally transparent for anyone who is interested to get the same information and at the same time that the committee members are getting. I will ask for that to be an agenda item at the next meeting of the selectmen.