The Narragansett Town Council had a motion on the Oct. 5 agenda “To Appoint/Reappoint three individuals to the Library Board of Trustees. It was obvious from the onset of the discussion that Mannix, Lawler and Lema had no intention of “reappointing” the three (3) individuals whose terms had ended on Oct. 1. Was it retribution for speaking out against the TC3 and their quest to defund the library and to prevent building the new library at the Belmont Building, as approved overwhelmingly by the voters in Narragansett in 2016?
There were actually nine applicants for the positions, but one withdrew his name before the meeting. A replacement for that withdrawn applicant was added after the necessary notification was posted. One has to wonder if he was recruited by the TC3 in order for them to “stack the deck” against the library.
The Town Charter states in its Rules for Commission, Committee and Board Appointments that “Applications shall be completed and submitted to the Town Clerk no later than the advertised filing date.” What was the “advertised” filing date? When one of the applicants submitted her application, she was told by a clerk in Town Hall that she had gotten her application in just in time...that being 4 p.m. on Sept. 29. So why did Mannix announce to all the listeners that he had received applications as late as 7:29PM on the night of some appointments? Once again, Mannix spews his lies in hopes that the residents will believe his untruths.
Rule #5 was not followed...that being, “that the motion to appoint a candidate to a particular committee, commission or board shall have the names of each applicant listed on the summary.” That tells me that there is a deadline. To get on the summary, the names of the applicants had to be listed by Thursday afternoon, Oct. 1, when the agenda was made public. Patrick Brady’s name was not on that list, so it seems that “lawyer Mannix” didn’t know what he is talking about when he said there was no deadline for applications! Score one for the non-lawyers who try to keep our TC3 honest!
It was also obvious that the TC3 would have voted on all three, new male applicants as a group on Monday night if I hadn’t brought up the fact that it might have been an Open Meetings Act violation. Jill jumped on my comment...and with advice from Solicitor Davis...postponed the appointment of Patrick Brady until the next meeting. But, don’t you find it probable that they would have pushed that appointment through if they hadn’t been called to task on it.
I mentioned that there were nine applicants. Six were women and three were men. Although I favored re-appointing the three women who had been on the Board, I would have been happy with any of the women because of their dedication to the library and their volunteerism at any and all events and programs held there. I had never laid eyes on any of the men. To my knowledge, they have never attended a “Friends” meeting or volunteered to help at any program...like Stone Soup, the Book Sale, the Jewelry Sale or the Halloween Parade. I have never seen any of them speak in favor of the library at TC meetings, nor have I ever read one letter-to-the-editor from them concerning the library. The other six candidates have been very visible in both words and actions.
The Town Charter states that “The board shall consist of seven members, residents of the town, known for their civic dedication and known to be devoted to the public library as an educational institution.”
If one has never seen any of those men at any library event, how can one construe that they would be “devoted to the public library?”