To the editor:
At the June 9 Lysander Town Board meeting, Councilor [Melinda] Shimer asked for an update on my investigation of an illegal meeting that allegedly took place several weeks prior. I want to say that I did not observe Councilor Shimer after reviewing the security footage on the camera angles that were provided to me. Concluding this, there isn’t sufficient proof that the board met inappropriately on the date in question. With this said, I will offer Councilor Shimer an apology if she felt personally slighted, that was never my intention. What is important is that I felt that I had to do my due diligence to make sure that there wasn’t another inappropriate meeting of the board as the ones that have occurred in the past. The same illegal meetings that my predecessors also spoke out against while they where on the board. As an elected town board member, I was provided the information by an employee of the town that was concerned for their job, because the town of Lysander still has not adopted a whistle blower policy.
It should be noted that Supervisor Salisbury explained at the June 9 Town Board meeting that the Onondaga County Election Board had ruled that he, along with Councilor Shimer and Councilor Reeves, can meet in caucus anytime because they all belong to the same political committee, Lysander First. After that meeting, Town Clerk Lisa Dell and I felt that this information may not be correct and in the spirit of promoting open and transparent government, an email was sent to the NYS Committee on Open Government and this was their reply: “Although FOIL does not define “political party”, our office has always advised that it refers to Federal political party designations. The definition set forth in section 108(2) (b) clarifies that the committees, conferences and caucuses that are exempt from Open Meetings Law at the town level are those “who are members or adherents of the same political party…” In my opinion, the committee, Lysander First, would not be an entity that fit this definition, its members not being adherents of the same political party.” Camille S. Jobin-Davis, Esq. Assistant Director