Pittsfield Subcommittee Receives Open Meeting Complaint After First Meeting

By Joe DurwinPittsfield Correspondent
Print Story | Email Story

The subcommittee made sure there was proper signage at its followup meeting.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A locked door led to a complaint to the attorney general's office accusing a newly formed Reid Middle School Council subcommittee of violating open meeting law at its very first meeting.

Terry Kinnas, who serves on the School Committee, accused members of the newly formed Community Outreach Subcommittee at Reid of intentionally locking the school's door while they held a Nov. 14 meeting. The subcommittee repeated the meeting on Nov. 21.

In the complaint, Kinnas says that when he arrived for the Nov. 14 meeting, he found the door locked and no clear signage showing where the meeting was being held.  

"I did get to the meeting and told the chairperson that they were violation open meeting by having the building door locked," said Kinnas in his complaint.  "I asked if the chair had training on Open Meeting Law and the answer was yes, therefore I believe it was intentional."

Kinnas asked that "all actions that took place as a result be voided out and a new meeting take to replicate all activities and actions that took place."

In its response to the attorney general's office, the subcommittee indicated that it had acquiesced with Kinnas' request for a repeated meeting and ensured that secretarial and custodial staff are included in all future meeting notifications to see that doors are unlocked and appropriate signage placed.  



In its response, the committee added that these actions "should in no way be construed as agreement with the accuracy or substance of Mr. Kinnas's claims, but only as a show of good faith on our part."

On Monday, at the subcommittee's third meeting, some members of the fledgling School Council subcommittee expressed dismay with the course of action taken by Kinnas. The committee formed earlier this year to meet on an "as needed basis."

"I was very disappointed," said Julia Sabourin, who chairs the subcommittee. "We did learn from this experience, but I think the way we were treated was very hurtful."

"It's unfortunate we were distracted like this, as volunteers," said committee member Debra Guachione.


Open Meeting Law Complaint 11-16-12
Reid Subcommittee Response to Open Mtg Law Complaint


Tags: open meeting,   open meeting complaint,   Pittsfield School Committee,   

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Studs Turkel Makes Music, Caroline Rose Switches Genres and More

By Grace LichtensteinGuest Column

A wonderful pops and dance week in the Berkshires is upon us. There is an original musical based on Studs Terkel's amazing oral history "Working," folk and pop acts at the highest level, Mark Morris at the Pillow, and twilight jazz on Edith Wharton's terrace. The pluses outweigh the minuses — the main minus being Patti Lupone's cancellation at the Mahaiwe. (She's still recuperating from hip replacement surgery, according to an announcement.) Lupone promises to reschedule.

Berkshire Theatre Group

"Working: A Musical" is based on Studs Terkel's brilliant collection of interviews chronicling the lives of ordinary Americans. It was first produced in 1977 but has been extensively revised. The updated version from 2012, opening this week at the Berkshire Theatre Group's Unicorn Stage in Stockbridge, features songs by Tony Award-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda ("Hamilton," "In the Heights"), as well as by Stephen Schwartz ("Wicked," "Pippin," "Godspell"), Craig Carnelia and the Berkshires' own James Taylor.

The show was adapted by Schwartz and Nina Faso with additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg. The director is James Barry. It begins Thursday, July 18, and runs through Aug. 24. I hate to be alarmist, but smart theatergoers should order tickets ASAP since the first two weekends are almost sold out. Get those tickets and  more info online.

Mass MoCA

Beginning Thursday, July 18, and running through Wednesday, July 24, fellows and faculty of the celebrated New York contemporary music collective Bang on a Can present informal recitals in various Mass MoCA galleries. The music ranges wildly — from solo cello to Latin big band.

In a different vein, singer-songwriter Caroline Rose brings her multi-genre sensibility to Mass MoCA on Saturday night, July 20. She was originally hailed for her folk/country rockabilly sound, but more recently it has been her darker indie pop, synthesizer-laden work that has gained attention. Opening for her is Zenizenn.

Find all the details on the website.

Guthrie Center

Tom Paxton visits Great Barrington on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, to reprise a career going back to the 1960s, protest sounds and the folky revival. I hope he sings "Ramblin' Boy." I would also love to hear "Talking Vietnam Potluck Blues," for the good old days, just to hear the line "I swear to God that I smell pot." He will have with him the Don Juans, made up of songwriters Don Henry and Jon Vezner.

View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories