In the October 11 edition of the Falmouth Enterprise the editor opines that “Ms. Moran (is) an intelligent woman (who) is well versed in the Open Meeting Law.” However according to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, they were “concerned” with Chairwoman Moran removing residents from an open meeting. If Chairwoman Moran is such an intelligent woman, according to the editorial, then she knew what she was doing was wrong and possibly she did so because, according to the editor, “she was struggling to control the crowd.”
During the July 9, 2018, selectmen meeting Chairwoman Moran instructed “anyone who does not have business please clear the room.” According to the state this is a clear violation of MGL chapter 30A: “...all meetings of a public body shall be open to the public,” and the Attorney General’s office needed to remind the board of selectmen of this fact.
Also in the editorial the editor states “there can be not doubt that (Chairwoman Moran) saw the shameful behavior of some of those at the meeting.” However, the Attorney General’s office, who actually watched the meeting stated, “At the time of the chair’s statement, no one was disrupting the meeting.”
In the final paragraph of the editorial it was written, “Ms. Moran could have, and perhaps should have, dealt more harshly with those disrupting the selectmen’s meeting.” According to the Attorney General she clearly broke the law by forcefully removing members of the audience who were not disruptive at that time. I wonder what other forceful tactics the editor would suggest using toward members of the public who have a difference of opinion? Would fire hoses be enough? German shepherds unleashed on the bevy of grandmothers in the audience that night? Or would the editor suggest we arm the selectmen with pepper spray in case anyone dares question their authority?
I personally do not own a newspaper, but if I did, I would make sure to at least do the bare minimum of due diligence and researching prior to printing such an egregious editorial full of false narrative. Also, I do not believe it is in the best interest of our democracy to suggest a public servant not only break the law by asking people to leave an open meeting, but to go further by suggesting she do so with force. This is still America in the 21st century and not Germany in the 1930s.
Michael G. Heylin