By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide (II)

The New Haven Board of Education met last night to consider turning over the management of one of its public schools to a for-profit company — and had to postpone its meeting after the New Haven Independent’s Melissa Bailey pointed out that the board had not given 24 hours’ notice, as required under Connecticut’s open-meeting law.

This time, Bailey video-records Mayor John DeStefano to get his take on the various forms of transparency. And Abbe Smith, covering the story for the city’s daily paper, the New Haven Register, credits Bailey and the Independent for shutting down the illegal meeting.

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Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide


Laura Crimaldi moves on to the AP


  1. LFNeilson

    One bugaboo about OMLs is that they doesn’t cover all meetings. Generally, OMLs apply to elected boards but not to staff meetings or certain other meetings, and the one in New Haven is a case in point. I can see having a parents’ meeting closed only if it applies to private matters involving particular students. And if a board is in contract negotiations, that is an OML exception. But turning the school over to a private company? Come on! That should not be a private matter, and the claim of “transparency” is completely bogus. The superintendent’s claiming that Bailey had been provided access to previous meetings and given information ignores the fact that she was shut out of this meeting. Kudos to her for standing her ground and zapping the non-posted meeting.

  2. Victor DeRubeis

    I remember getting slammed for sensationalism by an otherwise smart and competent public official in Malden, Mass., for writing a story about holding a public funds hearing on the eve of a holiday weekend.

    He was pissed, sure, but you can bet he never did that again.

    Kudos to Melissa Bailey for providing more evidence why we need good, tough community journalism — if for nothing else than to prevent some of these officials from themselves.

  3. BJ Roche

    The Greenfield Recorder used to issue wallet-sized versions of the Mass. Open Meeting law to all its correspondents, and we dutifully carried them with us when covering small town planning boards and selectmen.
    Often, we’d be the only people at the meetings who actually knew the rules.

    Bravo to this reporter. It’s sometimes scary to stand up for the rights of the press in these situations, and you’re not the most popular girl in town! But it’s the reporters who do so that keep these laws working.

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