This article by Patricia LeBoeuf originally appeared Jan. 14 in the Bennington Banner.
POWNAL — Select Board members and the public alike expressed anger, frustration and dismay at a special meeting on Monday in relation to inflammatory content of emails they said are among the thousands released last month.
The unredacted emails, which had been exchanged among current and former town officials, were released in response to a FOIA request; a number have been made widely available through Facebook postings.
Several board members read statements or presented them informally at the start of the meeting.
“I know there has been a very heated discussion about the emails and their content,” Bryan Harris, chairman of the board, said in a prepared statement. “I just want to say I feel the same frustration and anger at the type of language used against some of our citizens by individuals who were supposed to be working for the benefit of the people of the town, not just a select few.”
Harris went on to reference the “betrayal of the public’s trust” by some of the same people who engaged in discussion of confidential information “provided to them illegally by certain individuals.”
“I would expect that as trusted members of this community and town government that you would have stopped the individual from disclosing confidential information and also have notified the Select Board of such egregious actions and violations,” he said. “Instead some of you chose not only to listen but also offer input and attempted to manipulate the individuals who divulged the information to you.”
Read full article at the Bennington Banner.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)