Valley Viewpoints: Transparent government

by Cheryl Holmes of Fulton

Our Granby Town Board passed a resolution at its meeting June 13.

The resolution gave the Granby taxpayer the authority to speak at the board meetings.  They said, that as a board, it is their right to allow citizens to address the board or the board can have closed meetings.

After reading Mrs. Emrich’s Valley Viewpoint in the June 16 edition of The Valley News, it is quite obvious that Mayor Woodward, the Fulton Common Council and Granby Supervisor Williamson got their heads together and came up with their new rules to restrict our free speech.

The Granby Town Board has a meeting the second Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. and a work session the last Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m.

At the work sessions, the board makes resolutions concerning our town, votes on spending the taxpayers’ money, and pay bills.

Their meeting is no different than a regular board meeting except that there is no camera and the public cannot speak and they usually conduct considerably more business.

The board also takes periodic executive sessions behind closed doors to discuss who knows what?  Is it legal? No!

The board must state the topic they are discussing and the topic must be of legal matters or personnel’s private matters or discipline — none of which is usually the case.

At regular town board meetings, anyone wishing to speak has three minutes at the beginning or the end of the meeting — the taxpayers’ choice. The public cannot discuss any town board member, department head or employee under direct supervision of the board.

Granby has five who sit up there in front of the people. At most meetings, they cannot be heard; they tend to move the microphone away.

Power corrupts, absolute power absolutely corrupts!  When people address the board, Councilor Susan Richardson and Councilor Lori Blackburn whisper back and forth, snicker and giggle while the person speaks. They even whisper when other board members speak. They are very inconsiderate.

By law, anything discussed while the meeting is in session, all conversations or statements, are public knowledge. Both of these ladies are employed in our school system. They are dealing with our children. What kind of example are they setting?

What are we, as taxpayers, going to do about this matter? When November 2013 arrives, I’ll bet everyone in town has a solution.  Vote them out!

Town of Granby taxpayers need to get out to board meetings. There are important matters coming in front of this board – annexation, large equipment purchases and employment measures. These items can affect our town in years to come.

We need everyone’s knowledge and input on these subjects. Personally, I will not speak at board meetings, I will discuss my issues in The Valley News, Post Standard, Facebook – Granby Town Government Reports, or and I will sign my posts. Once again I am asking for a transparent government.

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