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Letter: Very democratic?


Thursday, May 17, 2018
Very democratic?

To the editor:

“Democracy is at risk in Rindge?” It may be – but not for the reasons given by Mr. Sirvant, chairman of the Budget Advisory Committee.

Mr. Sirvant emails members of the BAC his proposals, including one to limit the number of alternates to two in opposition to the 2011 Town Meeting vote allowing up to three alternates. This correspondence takes place outside of the public domain. New Hampshire’s right-to-know law cautions boards/committees about this. This same law states minutes must be made available to the public within five business days. Sirvant stated at a public meeting that he would not release the minutes within that time frame. Very democratic!

At the last two BAC meetings, Sirvant has not allowed public comment. Sirvant has complained about being filmed. Many towns film meetings! When Sirvant complained about being filmed at a deliberative session, the moderator informed him it was not a violation of privacy. Sirvant then stated that it was rude. Does Sirvant not want a record of his actions? One has to wonder after seeing the April 25 BAC meeting video.

Sirvant hastily scheduled a BAC meeting after he and vice chairwoman Rasku met with selectboard chairman Qualey behind closed doors. A few hours later both agendas posted a request of the BAC to the BOS – even though the BAC had not yet held their meeting or voted on the request. There was no legal basis or authority to remove selectman Oeser, yet selectman Qualey held a long inquiry on the subject and allowed Sirvant to make personal attacks on individuals while no one else was allowed to speak. No public comments were allowed even though a request was made. Very democratic!

Maryann Harper

Rindge