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Boston zoning board to start keeping actual minutes of its meetings

The State House News Service reports on open-meeting law violations across the state. Scroll down about two-thirds of the way for details on how the state Attorney General's office noticed the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals had failed for several years to keep the detailed meeting minutes it was supposed to.

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If so, bravo ....Don?

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As soon as I saw this , I thought of Don also.

But kudos to Don anyways for bringing this up. It should be done. He's absolutely right in many of his posts (now whether they are applicable to the topic he posts under remains to be seen).

But I am sure he will be happy.

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Zak is basically a casual fisherman in that he looks for something, tries to catch it, then basks in the satisfaction that he caught it.

My gut is that there are actual muckrakers and do gooders that want to make sure that public boards are accountable for what they do.

Does Don really care what the members of the Boston City Council really say about linkage fees? Probably not, but there are people in the City that are determined to find out what happens to these fees.

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Sad it took an AG not actively using their office as a stepping stone to higher office to finally investigate and do something about this.

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How detailed do minutes have to be? A lot of boards try to keep their official minutes as skeletal as possible, because detailed minutes tend to get you in trouble when you're being sued.

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Check out how detailed the Minutes are for the most recent Public Meeting of the Boston Board of Elections available by email request at
http://www.cityofboston.gov/contact/?id=33

. Appointment of new Elections Commissioner not indicated in Minutes.

. Elections Commissioners are also Elections Staff of the Elections Office! Any conflict?

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Never write when you can speak, never speak when you can nod, never nod when you can wink.

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The purpose of minutes is not to record events, it is to protect officials

- Sir Humphrey Appleby (Yes Minister)

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They can be pretty minimal. They need to record actual actions (e.g. votes) but not the substance of discussion:

Mr. Smith moved that the parcel be sold to his cousin Mr. Jones for $1.
The matter was discussed for 15 minutes.
Mr. Brown seconded Mr. Smith's motion.
The motion passed by voice vote.

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If there were any question/concern, couldn't you just watch the video recording of the meeting? In case any information was omitted from the minutes.

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Not if you're deaf or hard of hearing,.

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There are captions.

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As somebody who can actually read might note, the SHNS story doesn't say the AG's office ordered the board to write out details for several years worth of hearings - just for one case. However, it did strongly suggest the board knock it off and do a better job of note taking. I've updated my post.

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Is Jefferson reading the NO MA'AM minutes on Married with Children:

"8:01, 8:02, 8:03..."

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