Not so long ago I attended a meeting of the Canton selectmen. I asked why the meetings were not being taped and the board responded it was not necessary. When I mentioned that four members of the board had agreed to tape all sessions, I was dismissed.
I found minutes dated June 26, 2008, that state: "Chris Dailey would like to recommend that a tape recorder be used at the selectmen’s meeting. Don Hutchins would also like to see a camera. Kathy has contacted Time Warner about running a line into the office building for the access channel. She is waiting to hear. We will get a tape recorder for the meetings."
After the board was presented with a copy of those minutes, their comment was, “It doesn’t say that they were going to use it.” What were they going to “get a tape player” for?
Having meetings available on the local access channel would be a help for older or disabled residents; they could sit home and watch the meetings live.
I am also concerned about the legal liabilities of not having at least a verbal record of these meetings. I have seen many accusations from both sides of the table about what was said and it is only a matter of time before litigation becomes a reality.
I see no reason for their refusal to at least make a sound recording of meetings.
Chris Dailey, Canton