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2 Comments by BigChase

Westhampton Cemetery expansion continues to hit obstacles

While the minutes of Trustees meetings are public record, you should be aware that the Minutes are not necessarily accurate reflections of the meetings. The Minutes are prepared by the Trustees and approved by them at the following public meeting. The prepared Minutes therefore contain the written representation of what was said at each meeting according to HOW THE TRUSTEES which to record what took place at the meeting, not according to a court reporter's literal, word-by-word recording of what actually was said at each meetings. While the public could object before a meeting's Minutes are formally recorded, since the Minutes are formally entered on the record at the following meeting and those present at the meeting being recorded are usually not on hand at the following meeting to object to any inaccuracies.

I have found that the Trustees do not always accurately reflect in the Minutes what was precisely decided at each meeting and the full range of objections that may have been raised at each meeting.

The audio of all meetings that take place in the Town's public meeting room-- and elsewhere for that matter-- should be recorded on audio tape. The audio tape is also public record and those disputing the Minutes should ask to review the audio recordings. Often times the audio recordings are not made, are carelessly made, and/or magically disappear.

Greater efforts should be made to a) insure the accuracy of recording Minutes and b) insure the quality, consistency, and integrity of the audio recordings." Oct 17, 09 4:30 PM

See my comment above about the difference between the recorded Minutes and what is actually said at public meetings. The Trustees control how the actual testimony at each meeting is summarized in the recorded Minutes and thus there are often large discrepencies between what is said at the meetings and what is recorded in the Minutes.

When in dispute, one should ask to review the audio tape recordings.

Often what the Trustees commit to and what the Trustees say at the public meetings to mollify those in attendance and what the Trustees actually allow to be recorded in the public Minutes differ greatly. The public should do a better job insisting that the Trustees' Minutes more accurately reflect the conduct of the meetings." Oct 17, 09 4:36 PM