PITTSFIELD -- A School Building Needs Commission subcommittee held a do-over Monday to rectify a violation of the Open Meeting Law.
The Design Subcommittee repeated its meeting of Oct. 4, after the state Attorney General's Office last week upheld a complaint from Pittsfield School Committee member Terry Kinnas. The AG's ruling is the fifth in two months to favor Kinnas -- all against city school-related boards.
According to Kinnas, notice of the original meeting was posted an hour shy of the required 48. In addition, the notice mislabeled the name of the body which met -- calling it the full School Building Needs Commission instead of a subcommittee. The smaller group has been developing the process and criteria for hiring a designer for Taconic High School renovation/rebuilding project.
"If you can't do something simple like file an open meeting correctly, then how can we trust you when multiple millions of the public's money are in the balance?" Kinnas said.
Commission co-chairwoman Kathleen A. Amuso responded to Kinnas' filing by rescheduling the same meeting on Monday afternoon, 30 minutes before the regularly scheduled commission meeting at Pittsfield High School.
"We think we probably were fine (on Oct. 4) and had everything posted on time," Amuso said. "But just to be on the safe side, [we held] the exact same meeting."
"That's pretty much an open admission that they violated the Open Meeting Law," Kinnas said.
Representatives with Skanska USA Building Inc. -- the consultant assisting the city with the proceedings at Taconic -- repeated their presentation from the Oct. 4 meeting.
In addition to the Design Subcommittee, Kinnas in August leveled complaints of Open Meeting Law violations against the Pittsfield School Committee and a Reid Middle School Council subcommittee.
The AG upheld those complaints as well in several weeks -- decisions that are typically rendered in several months.