Friday, December 15, 2006


Dark in Goffstown
Selectmen Hide From Public

Friday, Dec. 15, 2006 

WHAT ARE Goffstown's selectmen afraid of?

Last week Selectman Nick Campasano made a motion that the board record in its minutes how each member voted. Currently, individual votes are not recorded. Campasano could get only one other vote, John Caprio's, for the motion. Philip D'Avanza, Barbara Griffin and Bruce Hunter voted against.

"You function as a board, not as individuals," was the excuse D'Avanza gave for blocking public access to his voting record.

That's the same line we've been hearing throughout New Hampshire as local boards try to silence dissent and cover their political tracks. Boards are a single, unitary body, the line goes, not a collection of individuals, and no member should ever criticize a board vote. Also, individual votes don't matter because the board acts as a whole. 

But local boards are made up of individuals who represent distinct parts of the community. If the people are to hold elected officials accountable, they have to be able to see how they voted.

Few citizens have the time to sit through every board meeting. Even local reporters cannot get to all of them. Official minutes are the one place where people can find how their representatives voted. 

If Philip D'Avanza, Barbara Griffin and Bruce Hunter are not afraid of being held accountable, they need to change their position. If they don't, the people will know that they have something to hide.

Reproduced by the Goffstown Residents Association.


December 15, 2006 - GRA Article
Right-to-know issue escalates >>

December 14, 2006 - Goffstown News Article
Selectmen want no vote record >> 

December 14, 2006 - Goffstown News Editorial
We have a right to know how selectmen vote >>

December 12, 2006 - GRA Article
Selectmen ignore outrage over right-to-know issue >>

December 10, 2006 - New Hampshire Sunday New Article
Right to know concerns raised in Goffstown >> 

December 5, 2006 - GRA Article

Griffin, D'Avanza and Hunter vote against public's right-to-know >>

New Hampshire RSA 91-A:2