National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

State says BOT may have violated Open Meetings Law

As the Garden City Board of Trustees continues to negotiate for a settlement with purchasers of a disputed parcel of land at Franklin Court, the New York State Committee on Open Government issued an advisory opinion this week that said the Board may have violated the law in how it discussed various aspects of the sale.

On December 19, 2013, the Village Board voted unanimously to sell a one acre parcel of open space to a group known as Franklin Mews Group LLC. The closing took place the following day. Residents of Franklin Court who were not members of the LLC were dismayed when, during the summer of 2014, a six foot fence was installed with locking gates and “private property” signs, and they began demanding details about how the transaction was approved.

Among the details that they discovered was that according to the official minutes of Village meetings, the December 19th meeting was the only time the sale of the property was discussed. (However, Trustee Richard Silver, writing in an op/ed in the Garden City News, stated that the Board actually had discussed whether to sell the property during budget meetings in February 2013.) Continue>>>