Seneca Co. attorney warns board about closed-door violation
By DAVID L. SHAW firstname.lastname@example.org
WATERLOO — Consider the Seneca County Board of Supervisors warned about future transgressions involving the state’s Open Meetings Law.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the full board, county attorney David Ettman acknowledged there was an apparent violation of the Open Meetings Law regarding an executive session at the board’s year-end gathering Dec. 26. Ettman said he was unable to attend that meeting, but has learned that a closed-door session with Earl Martin of Seneca Dairy Systems regarding white deer tours at the former Seneca Army Depot was improper.
He distributed a three-page document to board members on the violation and highlighted specific provisions of the Open Meetings Law the board should follow in planning future executive sessions. In particular, he said a vote to go into executive session for an allowed topic must receive approval from a majority of the total board, not a majority of those present.
“You need to avoid citing such too-broad terms as ‘personnel’ and ‘litigation’ in your motions to enter executive session,” Ettman said. “I want you to pay attention to the law and not make these mistakes again.”
Ettman urged board members to visit the state Open Meetings Law website or call him with questions.
Coincidentally, the board met in executive session Tuesday to discuss ongoing litigation between the county and the Cayuga Nation over the county’s effort to foreclose on the tribe’s tax-delinquent properties. They met with their state-paid lawyer, Brian Laudadio of Rochester.
No action was taken after the board returned to open session.
"No amount of evidence will ever convince an idiot."