April 20, 2011 3 Comments
What I have learned today:
1. The Driftwood only found out about the Special Meeting yesterday afternoon, which is why it appeared as a “News Brief” in today’s edition. They were not told by the Trust, but like another citizen, had seen it on the Trust’s bulletin board. No electronic notice sent to anyone.
2. The Staff Report, which was the premise for the meeting today, is dated yesterday (19th) and was only received by the Trustees last night, in spite of the fact the meeting was scheduled evidently sometime before 3:00 PM on Monday.
3. Chair Sheila Malcolmson confirmed staff were NOT directed by Trustees NOT to send out notification by electronic media.
4. Sheila did not know why notification was NOT sent out by staff, but, (a) she “will try to find out what happened,” and (b) it was not as a result of “political direction.”
5. When asked what the statutory time for the posting of a special meeting, Sheila replied, “5 days,” Christine said, “48 hours.” Christine is correct.
6. Trustee George Ehring said “We didn’t have any more notice ourselves. We gave as much notice as we could.”
7. Trustee Christine Torgrimson had the “best” excuse for not being aware of why notice wasn’t sent out, “I’ve been out of town.”
8. The in-camera session today was to discuss Solicitor – Client information. That meeting lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
So, here’s what I don’t understand. (a) none of the Trustees admitted to calling the special meeting, and (b) no one appeared willing to take responsibility for the lack of any real notice.
To me it seemed almost as if Staff had called the meeting, posted it, and informed the Trustees there was going to be a meeting, and then only supplied them with the agenda package last night, less than 24 hours before the meeting.
Now, if this was the first “lapse” of public notice of a “special meeting,” I could almost forgive all of them. But, this is the THIRD time within the past 3 months this has occurred. The first two, unannounced “special meetings” had no members of the public present, not surprising because no one had been informed.
This time were 10 members of the public present, but only because two people happened to see the notice at the Trust office yesterday.
As my elected representatives, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame, shame on you. Fool me three times…well…what the hell can I say?
There is simply no excuse, and no defense, from either Trustees or staff.