Montgomery’s Board of Education needs a refresher course in opening its meetings during debate on some important decisions.Editorial continues here.
Last month, the state board that oversees compliance with Maryland’s Open Meetings Act found that the school board violated the law when it held a meeting in June 2010 discussing a deal to lease 20 acres in Potomac to the county for use as soccer fields. It was the second time within a year and a half that the school board has been reprimanded for its lack of transparency.
In March, the board voted 5-2 to approve a lease, angering the organic farmer who had been working the land for more than 30 years, as well as community activists who had hoped a school would be built there. Some were also displeased with the lack of an opportunity to comment on the proposal.
Janis Zink Sartucci and Rosanne Hurwitz had filed a complaint with the state compliance board shortly before the March vote, after word of the proposal had spread. The complaint questioned whether the school board had improperly closed meetings about the land in spring 2010.
The compliance board found the June 2010 meeting was not properly closed and that the school board’s reason for shuttering it was a clear misinterpretation of the law...