“…secrecy can be accomplished … by making it difficult…for the citizens to gain access to the decision-making process”
Rapoport and Debunker appear to be on the opposite sides of the fence when it comes to openness of the civil proceedings of our Town government. Like many others in Town, I have often wondered how Town initiatives get started – like the initiative to find a new high school to replace Woodstock Academy â€“ and the role of the First Selectman in pursuing new initiatives. Wouldn’t the pursuit of new initiatives begin with the First Selectman and the Board of Selectmen rather than in some Town committee? If a Town committee conceived of a new initiative, wouldn’t pursuit of this new initiative have to receive approval by the Board of Selectmen?
In this context, I have often wondered about the limits of authority of the Board of Selectman, and the role of the First Selectman as defined in the Woodstock bylaws. I have been curious about this because itâ€™s my, perhaps naive, impression that many of the auxiliary Town Boards and Agencies function autonomously without oversight by the Board of Selectmen. Woodstockâ€™s Web site sheds no light on this subject – nor any information on the roles of other paid staff, elected Board members, and committee appointees (see the comments section in “Another Perspective…” by Debunker for more on this subject). It seems to me that we ought to be continuously reminded as to what these roles and limitations are. Read the rest of this entry »