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Hingham High School
Present: Committee Members Seelen, Manning, Asher, Dwyer, Eldredge, Ellison, Farrell, Friedman, Innis, Johnson, Lauter, MacCune, Marwill, Mooradian, O’Meara
1. Call to order
Chair Jerry Seelen called the Advisory Committee meeting to order at 6:14 PM.
2. Approval of minutes for July 22, 2009
The Committee reviewed and discussed the minutes from the meeting on July 22nd 2009.
The discussion evolved into an extended deliberation about the appropriate amount of detail which should generally be documented in the Committee’s minutes. In particular, members debated how much detail should be recorded of points made by Committee members during the course of discussing various issues, versus simply recording votes taken or decisions made.
The Chair noted that minutes should not be a transcript of everything said; however, Committee meetings could be recorded, as, for instance, the Planning Board does. Ted Alexiades noted that municipal boards and committees which do record meetings frequently overwrite those recordings, since the written minutes are the only official record of meetings under State law.
The point was also made that the Committee’s review of draft minutes is, itself, part of the process for ensuring that the final, approved version addresses points deemed significant by the majority. The Committee did not fully resolve this issue, and it will be reviewed at a future meeting.
With regard to the particulars of the July 22nd draft minutes, Amy Farrell was encouraged to suggest proposed alternative language for the first part of Item #3 of the minutes.
In addition to the discussion of the amount of detail that should be included in meeting minutes, those members who had voted against suspending some of the Committee’s rules (to allow recused or absent members to speak at the Special Town Meeting) asked that their votes be recorded by name in the meeting minutes.
No vote was taken on the July 22nd draft minutes.
3. Special Town Meeting Warrant Article Discussion
The Chair signaled that two members had requested a separate vote on Article 1a, to re-name the new elementary school the East School, given the likelihood that a motion would be made in the Special Town Meeting to divide Article 1 into two parts. Additionally, the Board of Selectmen had voted Articles 1a and 1b separately.
Several members expressed concern with making what might appear to be a last-minute change without sufficient debate and public input.
The Chair informed the Committee that the Committee could vote if it so chose, since the meeting had been posted on July 29th as affirmed by Town Counsel.
The Committee voted on whether to vote on Article 1a. Excluding the Chair, of the twelve non-recused members, seven voted against voting on Article 1a and five voted in favor. Consequently, the Committee did not vote separately on Article 1a.
The Committee meeting recessed at 6:50 PM and re-convened at the Special Town Meeting.
The Committee meeting adjourned coincident with the Special Town Meeting adjournment at approximately 10:15 PM.
Jonathan R. Asher, Secretary