Opinion: Whatever happened to transparency?
To the editor,
As I reviewed meeting minutes of our various school committees over the past few months, I discovered something troubling: our school committees do not like to answer questions.
I noticed that over the course of the last couple of years that each school committee had gone through the process of accepting and formally voting to approve many donations of non- monetary items: notebooks, tissues, Easter eggs, bug spray, masks, piping plover books.
But curiously, there were no approvals for hundreds of books donated by the group Tri-Town Against Racism (TTAR).
Thinking that the minutes containing the approvals for these books must be somewhere not available online, I asked to be provided copies of those minutes. I did not receive a response. After many follow-ups and a meeting with the Superintendent, I learned that while a January 2022 Marion School Committee meeting approved a single donation of 25 books from TTAR, there are no other records of donations from the group.
Why did this one donation need to be approved by committee while other donations did not? Why are there inconsistencies?
It’s all very confusing, and the district’s refusal to be transparent is only making matters worse.
My OML (Open Meeting Law) complaint for the donation violation was an effort to pressure a response from the district. And what was their response? To pay a costly, taxpayer-funded lawyer to tell the community that they refuse to answer any questions.
Whatever happened to openness and transparency?
As a concerned parent and taxpayer, this is not acceptable to me, and I hope that you agree.
Kathleen LeClair, Mattapoisett