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Editor:

Sunshine and shared governance makes for better plans and decisions!

Thank you to those willing to hold our elected representative accountable. Standing for accountability with no potential for personal gain is not a conflict, but an ideal characteristic in a candidate. As enrollment declines and mandates increase, more tough decisions on positions will need to be made in the open, not in executive session or private communications.

The following are excerpts from NYS Right to Know pamphlet: The Open Meetings Law, often known as the “Sunshine Law,” went into effect in 1977. Amendments that clarify and reaffirm your right to hear the deliberations of public bodies became effective in 1979. In brief, the law gives the public the right to attend meetings of public bodies, listen to the debates and watch the decision making process in action.

As stated in the legislative declaration in the Open Meetings Law (§100): “It is essential to the maintenance of a democratic society that the public business be performed in an open and public manner and that the citizens of this state be fully aware of and able to observe the performance of public officials and attend and listen to the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of public policy.”

Enforcement: Any “aggrieved” person can bring a lawsuit.

The following is an excerpt from NYS School Board’s Association handbook: Can I use email, text messages or social media to communicate with my board colleagues? Email, text messages and social media communications that preclude the community from hearing the board debate important issues is problematic. The intent of the Open Meetings Law is to allow the public to “observe the performance of public officials and attend and listen to the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of public policy.”

Brandy Tennyson, Queensbury

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