Boelter v. Board of Selectmen of WaylandAnnotate this Case
The procedure the board of selectmen of Wayland followed in conducting the 2012 performance review of the town administrator violated the Massachusetts open meeting law, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30A, 18 and 20(a).
In advance of the public meeting where the town administrator’s evaluation was to take place, the chair of the board had circulated to all board members the board members’ individual and composite written evaluations of the town administrator’s performance. After the open meeting, the board made public all written evaluations. A judge of the superior court allowed Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the open meeting law’s exemption to the definition of “deliberation” that allows members of public bodies to distribute to each other “reports or documents that may be discussed at a meeting, provided that no opinion of a member is expressed,” did not apply to the circulation of individual and composite evaluations of the town administrator by the board members prior to the open meeting because the evaluations contained opinions; and (2) thus, the documents constituted a deliberation to which the public did not have access, in violation of the open meeting law.