There will be a meeting Tues. March 30th of the Greater Lowell Tech Supt. Search Sub-Committee to discuss the process at 6:00 p.m.
We want to remind the Technical School Committee we haven’t forgotten them and the past contract of the Superintendent and will be following this closely.
According to the Lowell Sun George O’Hare the Sub-Committee Chairman when asked about this Tuesday’s meeting
O’Hare said the meeting will be closed to the public at the request of at least one of the candidates. If all five applicants had agreed to a public meeting, it would have been open, O’Hare said.
According to the States open meeting Law requirements:
The semi-finalist applicant who asserts a right to privacy under G.L. c.214, §1B must make a particularized showing that releasing his or her name to the public conducting the interview in public would unreasonably, substantially, or seriously interfere with the applicant’s right to privacy.
Further, where a governmental body accedes to the semifinalist’s request for privacy, it will be incumbent upon the governmental body, should its actions later be challenged, to make an adequate showing that an open interview or public disclosure of the applicant’s name would unreasonably, substantially, or seriously interfere with the applicant’s privacy rights.
So just a reminder to the School Committee, they will be under close scrutiny and better make sure that the individual who applied indeed meets the requirements describe above to keep it closed to the public.
O’Hare Went on to say in the SUN:
The primary purpose of the meeting will be to determine if all of the candidates meet the job requirements. The list will be cut during a subsequent meeting of the four-member subcommittee, not the full committee.
Again according to the Open Meeting Law this 2nd Meeting Mr. O’Hare is referring to will have to be OPEN to the Public based on the Requirements of the Open Meeting Laws:
A meeting of a governmental body subcommittee, which is itself a governmental body, is subject to the Law if a quorum of the subcommittee is present, even if that quorum is not sufficient to constitute a quorum of the parent governmental body.
Example: A school committee with nine members appoints a three-member subcommittee to screen applicants for the position of Superintendent and make recommendations to the full committee. When two or more members of this subcommittee meet together to discuss or deliberate on the matter assigned to it, this is a meeting covered by the Law even though less than a quorum of the full school committee is present.
Because of the first meeting this week It does not meet the noted exception: (8) To consider and interview applicants for employment by a preliminary screening committee or a subcommittee appointed by a governmental body if an open meeting will have a detrimental effect in obtaining qualified applicants; provided, however, that this clause shall not apply to any meeting, including meetings of a preliminary screening committee or a subcommittee appointed by a governmental body, to consider and interview applicants who have passed a prior preliminary screening
So the meeting scheduled for this week which O’Hare states is “ primary for determining if all of the candidates meet the job requirements” will be the only one allowed to use the exemption of a candidates right to privacy and the PUBLIC will have the chance to watch the process.