Executive Session Minutes (Barnstable County) (Yarmouth Town Clerk)

Caitlin Russell filed this request with the Yarmouth Town Clerk of Yarmouth, MA.
Tracking # SPR16-1057
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Caitlin Russell

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

I'm requesting all executive session minutes generated by the Board of Selectmen for the years 2010 through the of end 2015.
Massachusetts law requires that executive session minutes be reviewed and released regularly, and that once the stated purpose for a particular executive session has ended, the minutes of the executive sessions are to be made public.
Please be advised that denial of this request, or redactions made to released materials must be accompanied by citations of the exemptions you believe allow you to withhold the information requested.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Caitlin Russell

From: Gaudet, Phil

Ms. Russell,

Received will begin assembling the documents. Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks,

Phil

Philip Gaudet
Town Clerk
Town of Yarmouth, MA
508-398-2231 x1216

Click the Link below to register to vote online:
https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/

From: Dennehy, Linda

Good Afternoon Ms. Russell,

I received your request today for copies of executive session minutes for the Yarmouth Board of Selectmen for the period 2010 – 2015. All the minutes you request have been approved and released by the Board of Selectmen and are available on our website
(http://ma-yarmouth2.civicplus.com/ ). Click on the “Minutes and Agendas” tab, scroll down to Selectmen Minutes, in the drop-down menu choose “all archive items”. All executive session minutes are marked as executive session and will display as a .pdf document.

Hopefully this will provide you the information you need. If not, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks.

Linda Dennehy
Administrative Assistant to the Town Administrator
Town of Yarmouth
1146 Route 28
South Yarmouth, MA 02664
508-398-2231 ext. 1271
508-398-2365 (fax)
ldennehy@yarmouth.ma.us<mailto:ldennehy@yarmouth.ma.us>
[Description: Town Seal COLOR small]

From: Caitlin Russell

Hello,
There aren't any exemptions cited for the redactions. Can you tell me which exemptions apply to each redaction?

From: Dennehy, Linda

I did a quick sampling of several executive session minutes for the period you are requesting and saw no redactions. As a rule, executive session minutes are not released until the reason for ES is passed and therefore there are no redactions once the minutes are posted on our website. Please let me know if you have a specific set of minutes that includes a redaction and I’ll attempt to identify the exemption or have the minutes released in whole.

From: Caitlin Russell

One example is the April 14, 2015 executive session minutes. I'd appreciate it if you'd do more than a quick sampling and let me know which exemptions apply to each redaction for every set of the requested executive session minutes that contains redactions. Thank you.
Caitlin

From: Dennehy, Linda

The only redaction is that particular set of executive session minutes (April 14, 2015). The exemption that applies to that redaction as outlined in “A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law” under “Exemptions to the Public Records Law”, specifically Exemption (b) which applies to records that are related solely to internal personnel rules and practices of the government unit, provided however, that such records shall be withheld only to the extent that proper performance of necessary governmental functions requires such withholdings (as provided for in G.L. c. 4, § 7(26)(b)).

Linda

From: Caitlin Russell

Great, that takes care of that one! Can you please tell me which exemptions apply to the remainder of redactions made to executive session minutes from 2010-2015? Thanks so much!
Caitlin

From: Dennehy, Linda

I found no other redactions.

From: Caitlin Russell

In a previous email you said that you found "no redactions", and following a roughly two minute search of the released minutes, I found a set that had been redacted. Please review all executive session minutes from 2010-2015, as opposed to "a sampling," and let me know which exemptions apply to which redactions. Thank you.

From: Dennehy, Linda

I have paper copies I can go through and do not have to rely on slow computers to load documents, fyi.

Sep 30, 2014, Jan 13, 2015, Feb 24, 2015, April 14, 2015 are redacted for the same individual, for the same reason, and under the same exemption. Thought you would have seen that….

From: Caitlin Russell

I did see those, and I believe you would have seen them as well had you actually sorted through the minutes. Please let me know when you've figured out which exemptions apply to the rest of the minutes and why. Thanks again.

From: Dennehy, Linda

As I said below, I have looked through the paper copies of ALL the executive session minutes for the years requested. The only redacted minutes are the ones noted below, and as I also said below, had you looked at them, the redactions are for the same individual, for the same reason, and therefore are exempt under the same MGL section, as also noted below. Hopefully you can figure that out.

From: Sullivan, Kellie (SEC)

Good morning,

Thank you, received and acknowledged.

Kellie Sullivan
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Public Records Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
617-727-2832

From: Caitlin Russell

I'm writing to appeal the redaction of executive session minutes released by the Yarmouth Board of Selectmen for sessions which occurred on Sept. 30, 2014, Jan. 13, 2015, Feb. 24, 2015, and April 14, 2015. I believe the Town of Yarmouth has inappropriately cited exemption b under the Massachusetts Public Records Law, as the purpose for the meetings has been resolved, the person in question has settled with the town, and releasing the unredacted minutes could not reasonably be said to inhibit "proper performance of necessary governmental functions."

From: Yarmouth Town Clerk

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Yarmouth Town Clerk

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Dennehy, Linda

ATTN: Angela Puccini

Good Morning Angela,

Just to follow up on my phone call with you this morning, this is to advise you that we are in receipt of your letter dated December 9, 2016. Due to a death in my immediate family, I have been out of the office for nearly three weeks and as a result, no action was taken on your letter. I apologize for the delay and will respond to Ms. Russell with the corrected information at the earliest opportunity. Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Linda Dennehy
Administrative Assistant to the Town Administrator
Town of Yarmouth
1146 Route 28
South Yarmouth, MA 02664
508-398-2231 ext. 1271
508-398-2365 (fax)
ldennehy@yarmouth.ma.us<mailto:ldennehy@yarmouth.ma.us>
[Description: Town Seal COLOR small]

From: Yarmouth Town Clerk

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: Kevin F. Bresnahan

Dear Ms. Russell:

Please see attached correspondence regarding the above-referenced Public Records matter. Please contact me if you need any additional information.

Thank you,

Kevin F. Bresnahan, Esq.
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP
300 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 410
Quincy, MA 02169
Phone: (617) 479-5000
Fax: (617) 479-6469
kbresnahan@mhtl.com<mailto:kbresnahan@mhtl.com>

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