, Newburyport, MA

October 7, 2013

No reason to keep water/sewer discussions private

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

City Councilor Dick Sullivan was correct in pushing for a resolution to make public the Newburyport City Council’s executive session minutes regarding Plum Island’s water and sewer problems. Plum Island residents are paying hefty betterment fees for the water and sewer system. Shouldn’t the public who is paying the bills know what exactly is wrong with the system? Mayor Holaday’s position represents a common abuse of the Open Meeting Laws and executive session privileges. Apparently, after several years of “discussion,” no legal action has been taken to date. Unless potential litigation is imminent and clear, there is no justification for going into executive session. So, why would discussion of PI water and sewer issues have to be kept secret?

The next step should be to go the Inspector General’s Office with a complaint to force the mayor to release the information contained in the executive sessions.

Jayne Peng