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Open Meetings Law Debate Needs Police Assistance

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Stewart Tiekert's comments to the Village Board of Trustees were cut short when Mayor Norman Rosenblum asked the officer present to get the speaker away from the podium after the time for public comment had passed.

While the board discussed a procedural change to how work session minutes would be accepted, Tiekert, who later left the podium on his own accord, chimed in. He didn't object to the change, which now only requires the board to note the minutes exist rather than approve them with regular meeting minutes, but to how work session minutes have been kept by the village.

"He said they do action minutes, and they don't do action minutes," said Tiekert, of village clerk-treasurer Agostino Fusco. "They're conflating approving them and taking them."

Under the Open Meetings Law, all motions, proposals, resolutions and any other matter formally voted upon have to be recorded or summarized anytime a public body holds an open meeting.

As Rosenblum looked for a motion from the board, Tiekert interrupted, leading the Mayor to request the officer's assistance. Tiekert left the podium and sat back down on his own.

Members of the board met with the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) and Robert Freeman, executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government, to discuss work session minutes.

"There's no legal requirement that the board has to adopt the minutes," Slingerland said.

The board tabled the work session minutes from July to December 2010, which had previously been tabled at the Aug. 15 meeting.

What do you think of the Village Board of Trustees' proposed change? Comment below, on Facebook and Twitter.

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