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Selectmen address alleged Open Meeting Law violations against themselves

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  At the outset of the Tuesday morning (Dec. 27) Board of Selectmen meeting, Board Chair Anthony Cogliano briefed his colleagues on an alleged Open Meeting Law violation involving procedural matters he said he was unaware of.

  Patrick Higgins, who is listed as a resident of Northport, Alabama, has filed a complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office alleging selectmen violated the law by not listing the names and addresses of businesses who were being considered for renewal of their licenses at the Dec. 13 meeting and failing to announce at the meeting that the meeting was being recorded.

  “This is my 14th year on the board; I haven’t listed licenses ever,” Cogliano said. “This is something new,” he added.

  “I got a violation for not saying the meeting was being recorded,” he said, while also noting that the requirement was “something new” that he hasn’t been familiar with during his career.

  Cogliano asked his colleagues to remind him at future meetings to say the meeting was being recorded.

  Higgins, who has been labeled as a “prolific complainer of Open Meeting Law violations,” had identified Stanley Widak as chair of the Board of Selectmen in his complaint. Widak is actually chair of the Plainville Board of Selectmen – not Saugus.

  The violations are technical violations of procedure, which are minor.

  In his complaint, Higgins said he wanted to see the board learn and comply with the Open Meeting Law in the future. He also said he wanted to see the board vacate all licenses that were renewed and reconsider their renewal at a future meeting.

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