2007-05-03 / Letters to the Editor

School board matter pertains to closed sessions

In a recent letter to the editor, the North Kingstown School Committee chair invited Mr. Brennan, the Jamestown Representative to the NKSC, back to the table.

I have to make the following comments to clarify the event that surrounds the letter from Chairman Doug Roth and the editorial from Mr. McDonough.

I was at the meeting and observed what happened. The meeting in question was advertised as an executive session, which is normally closed to the public. At the last minute, the meeting was changed to an open session and then was to adjourn to a closed session. During the closed part of the session, the NKSC was to discuss recent events involving the superintendent, James Halley. They were also to decide what action, if any, to take.

These are contentious and heated subjects, as the editorial pointed out. The question about Mr. Brennan's participation in an executive session had nothing to do with any member of the North Kingstown School Committee who "did not like Brennan's contradicting opinions on the matter" as was asserted in the editorial. It had everything to do with the language in North Kingstown's Charter.

A motion was made to clarify Mr. Brennan's participation in the closed part of the session. The lawyers for the NKSC clarified for all in attendance at the meeting that Mr. Brennan, or any Jamestown representative to the NKSC, would have as much right to participate in an open session as any member of the public does. But, according to the North Kingstown Charter, only the seven elected representatives from North Kingstown could participate and vote on matters in a closed session.

So, the issue surrounding this meeting did not question Jamestown's right to participate in the NKSC affairs, or sit at the table and be a part of any open meeting, it was to clarify participation in closed, executive session matters.

That is an important distinction that was clearly missing from the information provided by Mr. Roth and what was written by Mr. Mc- Donough.

Sharon Schubert North Kingstown

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