East Longmeadow town councilor Tom O’Connor has filed an open meeting complaint against his fellow council members. The complaint, which was filed at the attorney general’s office, alleges that the council violated the state’s open meeting laws in a number of ways throughout October 2021.
The council met with the town’s attorney yesterday to discuss the complaint.
The attorney concluded that most of Mr. O’Connor’s allegations do not constitute open meeting law violations.
However, the attorney noted that one of the allegations was “in a grey area.” Apparently, the complaint alleges that an email from councilor Marilyn Richards to the town clerk, manager, and other councilors violated the law because it included language that may be construed as deliberation outside of a public meeting.
The attorney advised that councilors read the email into the public record in order to help remedy the situation.
The email, dated October 17, reveals Richard’s concerns about the public image of the council. She also states that she is concerned that residents are preparing a petition to dissolve and replace the town’s current government.
Here is just some of the email that was read into the public record:
I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I have become very weary of the council being tried and convicted by the court of public opinion as to our credibility and capability to lead…I am actually aware that there is interest in circulating a petition for another government change while realistically that is a daunting task. The distraction of such an effort would be the “kiss of death” for our town council work going forward…I would think each of our reputations as well as the reputation of the town council would be important to us. The damage done with actions of late will not go away overnight. We have our work cut out for us.
To watch the meeting in its entirety, click the video below.