THIS BLOG POST IS ONE OF SEVERAL GUEST EDITORIALS THAT WILL BE PUBLISHED DURING SUNSHINE WEEK (March 11 – 17), HIGHLIGHTING THE NEED FOR MORE GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY.
By Harriet Cady
In 1974 I took a Right to Know suit against the Raymond School Board for going into a non-public about my request. Later I read RSA 91-A 3,II-c, which clearly stated the elected board could only go into Non public if the person being discussed was given the right to go in or decline a non public session, something they never afforded me.
I filed the petition in court and Judge Good made the decision they had violated the law and ordered a rehearing. They still refused my request for an IEP for my gifted auditorily impaired son.
That led to appeal after appeal for a program and my ever lasting distrust of the elected officials who were very appreciative when I raised money and helped get the bond issue voted to build a new elementary school, but absolutely wanted nothing to do with anyone who questioned them over their actions as elected officials. I was later to be told by Dr. Suzanne Horner of Mass Children’s that school officials only like parents who say yes.
This essay is about the right of every citizen to see documents created for their elected officials, appointed boards and committees. They are only the representatives for the citizens as you could not have a crowd of citizens running a town.
The Founders of this country wrote a Constitution to assure citizens that the government belonged to them. The First Amendment would mean nothing if we could not see elected officials actions on our behalf. That’s why the Right to Know law is so important to citizens.
Harriet Cady is a founding member and Treasurer of Right to Know New Hampshire and a resident of Deerfield. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org