William J. Kemble in The Daily Freeman notes that
the Saugerties School Board needs to spend some time in the library, as they seem unsure about the definition of the word "meeting." On July 7 Superintendent Seth Turner recommended the future of two committees be reviewed during a "private" self-evaluation -- or meeting -- at 6 p.m. July 14. “What you can’t do is take action during a board retreat or a self-evaluation,” he said. “But you can get together to discuss how a board wants to communicate. This would fall under those auspices.” But Board member George Heidcamp took a more strict definition of "meeting," and he said, “I’m not sure that discussing committees in a board retreat would be appropriate,” he said. “Committees are board actions and they should be discussed in public.” Robert Freeman, head of the state Committee on Open Government, said, “If it’s a touchy-feely session, ‘let’s get to know each other better,’ or if it is purely for generic kinds of training purposes, the Open Meetings Law might not apply. But if it’s a self-evaluation of what are our strengths, weaknesses, what are our policy goals for the coming year, it’s the most important meeting of the year.” Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.