Hudson - Litchfield News | April 13, 2012 - 7 Right to Know Requests in Litchfield Investigated
by Lynne Ober Under state law, RSA 91:A, every citizen has a right to public documents and an expectation that meetings will be open to the public. The governing body has five days to respond to a right to know request. After Litchfield Superintendent, Dr. Elaine
Cutler, notified the board that she planned to discuss recent right to know requests, the Hudson~Litchfield News queried the towns and school boards of Hudson and Litchfield about the number of right to know requests that each governing body had received since September 1, 2011. Litchfield Town Administrator, Jason Hoch, was the first to respond. According to Hoch, the town had received no formal right to know requests. “People ask us for copies of contracts and other documents and we just provide those,” Hoch responded. Hudson School Superintendent Randy Bell was the second to respond. “We have had only one request, and it dealt with the survey the school board conducted relative to the selection of the new superintendent,” reported Bell. “The Board released the results of the quantitative part of the survey, but not the results of the qualitative section. Laurie Jasper requested, under right-to- know, the results of the qualitative section of the survey. She also requested that the minutes of the meeting where the survey was discussed be posted.”
According to Bell, the survey results were released to Laurie, and both the survey results and minutes were posted on the website. “We also have made an additional effort to post minutes on the website as soon as they are approved by the Board,” said Bell. The Litchfield School District has received 14 Right to Know requests in March and a total of 24 right to know requests since September 1, 2011. Of the 24 right to know requests made to the
Litchfield School District, Former School Board member Jason Guerrette has requested 19 of the right to know requests and has not reviewed the results from two of the requests that have been made available for his review since January 5, 2012. It was this lack of review that caused Cutler to talk to the school board. She told the Board that that the Director of IT expressed concern with the storage capacity of the e-mail server. According to Cutler, e-mail cannot be deleted until a Right to Know request is closed and the citizen who made the request is satisfied. She reported that the e-mail server is 20 percent past capacity and noted there still two outstanding Right to Know requests which were very large and the citizen has not yet finished reviewing the documents.
The Right To Know list that the Hudson~Litchfield News received after its own request, shows that on October 7, 2011, Jason Guerrette made two requests about e-mail. He requested all e-mails re: J Guerrette from Administration and going back to July 31, 2006 and all e-mails sent to school board members that Jason Guerrette was not copied on. This request also goes back to July 31, 2006. According to Cutler the data is available and ready for review, but Guerrette has not completed his review. There is no limit in the Right to Know law that asks a person to complete a review in a timely period so this will remain open until he finishes his review. Guerrette also made four other Right to Know requests on October 7, 2011 and these were: All PERC records, all homework task force records, three years’ worth of data for Maintenance contracts/Bids and five years’ worth of data for energy consulting. He has reviewed those requests. School Board Chairman John York said that Martin had to spend at least 40 hours on these October requests. “We needed him to work on the budget, but he could not.” The problem with the open e-mail right to know requests is that no e-mail can now be deleted. Cutler said that because “we cannot delete any e-mail, the District has been purchasing back up tapes on a continuous basis.”
Based on additional requests made in March, Cutler indicated more back up tapes will be needed. Rather than purchasing more tapes, Cutler requested the purchase of an e-mail archival system that would allow the District to store all e-mails in one location. This system would also be beneficial for the task of searching e-mail for a Right to Know request as this task can be done by one person, thus reducing cost. Cutler indicated that the final e-mail archival system cost is $13,628. Business Administrator Steve Martin commented that since our e-mail server is 20 percent over capacity there is a risk that it could break down and e-mail could be permanently lost. He characterized this as a significant operational concern. When School Board member Dennis Miller asked what the archival system would do for capacity, Martin responded that the capacity would remain at the recommended level; however, employees will be able to delete e-mails because they will be stored in an Exchange message database.
When asked about implementation, Martin said it is a combination of hardware and software. Miller then asked what would happen if the District cannot find the funds to purchase the system.
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interested check out the Facebook page: Town of Hudson NH Emergency Management. When you are on the page click like to follow information as it is placed on it. Twitter: @HudsonNHEMA.
Litchfield School Board Organizes
by Lynne Ober With the March elections completed and newly elected members sworn in and seated, it was time for the Litchfield School Board to organize. John York was again elected Chairman. Then
it was time for school board members to choose assignments for the coming year. Once again there were volunteers for each position. The assignments for the next year are : Budget Committee Representative: Derek Barka
Safety Committee Representative: John York Grants Committee: Mary Prindle and Trish D’Alleva Technology Committee: Derek Barka Negotiations Committee: Dennis Miller and Trish D’Alleva
SERESC Board Member: John York NHSBA Delegate: Mary Prindle Wellness Committee: Dennis Miller PERC Committee: Trish D’Alleva Homework Task Force: Derek Barka and Trish D’Alleva
Hudson Woman Charged with Aggravated DWI
submitted by Hudson Police Department On Sunday, April 8, at approximately 7:06 p.m., Hudson Police responded to Route 111, just east of the Greeley Street intersection, for the report of a roll over accident involving multiple vehicles. Upon arrival to the scene, it was determined all three vehicles involved were heading east on Route 111 towards the center of town. The first vehicle involved, a 2010 GMC Acadia, being operated by Dalyn Dellucci, 29, of Hudson was traveling behind a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee being operated by Jeremy Biron, 28, of Townsend, MA. According to witnesses, Dellucci’s vehicle was traveling at a high rate of
speed when she came upon Biron’s vehicle and struck it from behind. Dellucci then allegedly lost control of her vehicle and struck a 2011 Subaru Forester being operated by Ross Smith, 27, of Hudson. Dellucci, a young passenger in her vehicle and Smith were transported to the hospital for what appeared to be minor injuries. Dellucci was also arrested and charged with the misdemeanor offense of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated. She was released from police custody on $2,000 personal recognizance bail with an arraignment date of April 26.
Cutler remarked that no funds would be taken from the education of students. The board voted to purchase the archival system as several more e-mail requests had been filed in March and it appears the situation will not be resolved in the near future. York asked about the capabilities of such a system, Martin indicated that it would allow one person to search e-mail efficiently rather than multiple employees being required to do so. A knowledgeable employee would still be required to read, and redact messages. The District would continue to keep copies of what is requested and what is taken by the requester.
On December 8, Guerrette made a Right to
Know request to see all the information that the school district is keeping about his children, which had not been sent home to him previously. Beginning in March, Guerrette made a number of Right to Know requests. These include, on March 5, a request to know the “cost for School Board investigations re: J Guerrette” and a request to see copies of all legal bills for the past three years, but he did withdraw his request for the legal bills.
On March 6 , Guerrette made four Right to
Know requests. The first was for the cost for preparing 91-A requests for the past three years, but the other three were again about e-mails. He requested e-mails from selected members of the school board from January 12, 2012 through March 6, 2012. His second e-mail request was for e-mails to, from or about Dennis Miller from September, 2011 through March, 2012. The third e-mail request was for any e-mails that are to or from Steve Martin, Elaine Cutler or any other administrative staff in the district that discuss right to know or right to know requests for the last three years. He followed that up with a request on March 26 with a request for all e-mails that mention Martin’s consulting business since the time of his employment. On March 14, he asked for consulting information re: Mr. Martin and followed that on March 16 with a request for Technology Upgrades, including names of companies. But that was not the end of the e-mail requests. On March 8, he requested e-mails from the superintendent to the business administrator about Right to Know requests. Two Litchfield residents, B. McCue and K.
Waggoner, had each filed a Right to Know request asking how much school district money was being expended on responding to Right to Know requests. On March 7, Guerrette also asked for a complete listing of all administrative work requests made by the school board chairman.
There have been two other Right to Know requests by other Litchfield residents. On February 20, Dennis Miller asked for all e-mails from Jason Guerrette to the superintendent and on October 7, 2012, M. Finnegan asked for information about employees who had been on the RIF list, but that was denied because it contained confidential employee information. In the town of Hudson, Town Administrator
Steve Malizia said that selectmen/administration had received four Right to Know requests and Assessing had received one.
On October 12, 2011, Doug Robinson from
the Hudson~Litchfield News requested a copy of an e-mail that was sent from a Budget Committee member to the Board of Selectmen. The request was directed back to Robinson to contact either the Budget Committee member or a member of the Board of Selectmen as this office was not privy to the e-mail.
On December 1, 2011, Doug Robinson from
the Hudson~Litchfield News requested the names of the companies that provided budget estimates to replace the roof on the Community Center and the list was provided. On February 16, 2012, Bill Boyd requested information regarding the FY 2013 proposed Library budget. The information was provided on February 16, 2012 as well a link to the Town’s budget on the Town’s web page. On February 24, 2012, a request for information
was received from Michael Brindley of the Nashua Telegraph, requesting access to the minutes and decision reached during nonpublic sessions held by the Board of Selectmen between the dates of January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. With the exception of the sealed minutes from January 25, February 8 and February 22, the nonpublic minutes were provided to Brindley on February 28, 2012. In Assessing, Marijane Kennedy requested information regarding the Town’s elderly exemption program. The Assistant Assessor provided the requested documents on February 24, 2012.
Cutler said that she’d like to see the Right to
Know law modified so that the person who made the request also had to review the materials in a timely manner when they became available rather than the current law which gives no deadline for review of the materials. “It only seems fair as we have a limited time to respond and the requestor should also have a limited time to review. If a reasonable deadline was determined, there would be no need to expend funds for specialized, archival hardware and software.”
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HUDSON WATER MAINS FLUSHED
As part of an ongoing maintenance program, Pennichuck Water will be conducting water main and hydrant flushing for two weeks in the Town of Hudson,Sunday, April 8, 2012 to April 12, 2012, and Sunday, April 15, 2012 to April 19, 2012 from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am.
This program involves opening flushing valves to create increased water flows which dislodge and clean out naturally occurring sedi- mentation in the pipelines. It may cause minor flooding of streets and slight discoloration of water and/or a short period of low pres- sure. Please avoid washing clothes during the dates and times detailed above.
Flushing is done to maintain water quality throughout the distribu- tion system. The Company reassures customers the water is safe to drink and any discoloration should clear up after the water is run a few minutes.
Please visit our website at www.pennichuck.com
for more information.
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