Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Parents in Anne Arundel County are trying to understand how their Board of Education supposedly contracted out all public school playgrounds for use as locations for cell towers.
In tracking the actions of the Anne Arundel Board of Education it has become clear that there was discussion, a briefing packet, and a vote on the Milestone Communications cell tower deal on January 24, 2012. The problem is there are no minutes for the January 24, 2012, meeting.
Let's see what the Open Meetings Act Compliance Board says about a Board of Education meeting and vote that are not documented.
Here is the complaint that has been filed today.
July 30, 2014
Open Meetings Compliance Board
c/o Attorney General’s Office
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
Re: Anne Arundel County Board of Education
To Members of the Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board:
The following complaint is filed with your office with regard to a meeting of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.
The Anne Arundel County Board of Education announced that they would be holding a meeting on January 24, 2012.
This meeting was called a budget workshop and no public comment was to be permitted at this meeting.
The Board did not post an Agenda for this meeting.
Five months later at the June 20, 2012, Board of Education meeting the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Chief Operating Officer (COO) Alex L. Szachnowicz stated,
“...Jan 24th when we met that was part of the briefing packet for that exhibit item that
the Board voted on...”
The COO makes reference to a meeting, a briefing packet and a vote that are not detailed in any public minutes of the Anne Arundel Board of Education.
The video from the June 20, 2012, Board meeting has been clipped to allow the Open Meetings Compliance Board to listen to this specific statement by the COO. The video clip is located at:
The statement from the COO follows the question that starts at the 3 minute and 30 second mark of the video.
The Anne Arundel Board of Education website does not show any minutes or video from the January 24, 2012, meeting.
The public has been deprived of the minutes of the public meeting of January 24, 2012, and of the briefing packet that was submitted to the Board of Education for their vote on that date. There is no record of the vote that was taken on January 24, 2012, and thus no information as to how individual Board members voted on this matter. The Board of Education votes for 2012 are shown in the document at this link.
The January 24, 2012, meeting of the Anne Arundel Board of Education did not comply with the requirements of the Maryland Open Meetings Act. The failure to comply with the Act has directly impacted the public’s ability to monitor the actions of the Anne Arundel Board of Education.
Thank you for reviewing this complaint.