WILLIAMSTOWN -- A Stratton Road resident has filed his third Open Meeting Law complaint against a town board in the past year.
In his complaint filed on Aug. 20, Kenneth Swiatek alleged the Affordable Housing Committee (AHC) violated the law in May when members met to discuss information to be included in requests for proposals for town-owned properties.
Swiatek, founder of the Friends of Williamstown Conservation Lands, stated the "subcommittee" formed on May 28 constitutes a quorum of the AHC and therefore violates the law.
The group met once on May 29 and consisted of two AHC members, Van Ellet and Leigh Short, accompanied by Selectman Thomas Sheldon.
AHC Chairwoman Cathy Yamamoto responded to the complaint at Tuesday's AHC meeting, where she noted the complaint was submitted after the Attorney General's office 30-day deadline. No official subcommittee was ever created, she said. In addition, Sheldon is not a member of the AHC and therefore the group did not constitute a quorum, she said.
"Short, Ellet and Sheldon completed their task at a meeting the following day and had no intention or need to meet again, " Yamamoto said in a written statement. "When Short, Ellet and Sheldon met, they took no notes and did not deliberate on any items other than in regards to the document that they drafted for review by the [AHC]."
Swiatek previously filed a violation against the Board of Selectmen in December 2012, alleging the board met improperly in executive session to discuss the purchase of the Spruces property. A determination released Aug. 1 found no violation. Town Manager Peter Fohlin stated at the Aug. 12 Selectmen meeting the town spent approximately $1,400 in legal fees on the matter.
An Aug. 9 determination found the AHC did violate the law when members sent emails amongst themselves discussing drafting a letter to the editor. Swiatek filed the complaint on March 14. Yamamoto and other board members have admitted the error and apologized.