NEWFANE SELECTBOARD MINUTES
JUNE 30, 2008
NEWFANE TOWN OFFICE
Selectboard: Gary Katz, Joe Mandell, Guy Wachtel Peter Rysz (recused)
Also Present: Judy Egan, Philip Woodward, Woodward & Kelley, PLLC;
Nicole Orne, Brattleboro Reformer; Kelly Kindestin, VLCT PACIF
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 10:03 a.m. by Gary Katz, Chair. Gary
explained that the purpose of the meeting was to meet with the town’s
counsel to discuss options regarding making Eileen Blackwood’s
investigative report public.
A motion was made by Guy Wachtel to enter into Executive Session. It
was seconded by Joe Mandell. The vote was unanimous. The board entered
Executive Session at 10:04 a.m.
Gary came out of Executive Session at 11:12 a.m. to ask the public
their wishes as to whether they would like to have the Investigator’s
Report made public. There were some requesting it be public and there
were some not
Reporter from the Reformer requested that it be a public document.
Peter Rysz raised an objection to Nicole expressing an opinion as she
was not a resident of Newfane. Judy Egan requested that it be made public.
Doris Knechtel requested that it be made public. Peter Rysz requested
that it not be made public.
SHANNON TO LISTEN TO THE TAPE RECORDING AND DICTATE EXACTLY AS IT WAS
WRITTEN.EACH OF THE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC.
Gary went back into Executive Session with the information.
A motion was made by Guy Wachtel and seconded by Joe Mandell to come
out of Executive Session at 11:25 a.m. The vote was unanimous and the
board came out of Executive Session.
Given that the board has been requested to release the Blackwood report
and the board has been requested to keep the Blackwood report private,
Guy Wachtel made a motion that on advice of counsel, the board has concluded
that it is going to file a declaratory judgment action in Windham County
Superior Court to obtain a ruling on whether or not the Blackwood report
should be made public, in whole or in part. Joe Mandell seconded the
Discussion: Guy Wachtel noted that the public should be made aware
of what that means.
Attorney, Philip Woodward explained that in cases where there is disagreement
as to what to do, as to Rights and Responsibilities, the courts can
step in and make the decision.
He explained that he would be filing this as soon as possible, most
likely within a week. These matters are usually dealt with towards the
top of the docket, sooner rather than later.
After discussion, the vote was unanimous.
Joe Mandell mentioned that the public should know that whatever the
court’s decision is, that it must be respected and followed, regardless
of whether they agree with the decision or not.
Philip Woodward mentioned that he would be keeping the town apprised
of any court dates and with a court Docket number, so people could forward
information to the court as they wish.
Gary made two points: a) that in the meantime, any related correspondence
should be through Philip, and that b) advice from counsel continues
to be that this shouldn’t be discussed with anyone until such
time that the court makes their decision.
J. Egan asked about the process that took place between the board’s
prior decision to make the report public, and this decision to get the
Gary noted that the board did decide before seeing the report, to make
it public, and that now, on advice from counsel, the most appropriate
course to take, is to get the judgment. Discussion ensued.
Motion was made by Guy Wachtel and seconded by Joe Mandell to adjourn
the meeting at 11:45 a.m. Unanimous.
Posted: Town Clerk's Office, Newfane Store, W.W. Building Supply,
S. Newfane/Williamsville Post Office and the South Newfane General Store
& Deli. www.newfanevt.com