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NEWFANE SELECTBOARD MINUTES
JUNE 30, 2008
NEWFANE TOWN OFFICE

PRESENT:
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 motion.

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 court order.

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.

15. ADJOURNMENT

Motion was made by Guy Wachtel and seconded by Joe Mandell to adjourn the meeting at 11:45 a.m. Unanimous.

Respectfully Submitted,
Shannon Meckle

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
(after approval)

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