If not, that’s OK, because members of the committee were not even sure if their meeting was legal. Town staff told Audit Committee members the meeting was legal and they did not have to notify the public.
Former Mayor Dan Hughes chairs the Audit Committee and he appeared perpexled as to how the town gets information out to the public about the audit committee meetings.
Town staff also told committee members that their meeting was publicized on the town website which set the committee members off. The town website is a maze of clicks and dead ends whenever you search for meetings. As you can see below, and by clicking HERE, there’s no mention of any audit committee meeting.
If you click HERE on the town website where it says NOTICES, the most logical place residents would go to find notices, you’ll see that nothing happens.
Vice Chair Ed Lombard even asked staff what website the meeting was publicized on. “I looked carefully at that (town) website. I went to all the arrows, all the places and didn’t see it.”
Several committee members questioned whether any of the action they were about to take was even legal because of the lack of notice.
Audit Committee member John Goggins took issue with town staff saying the meeting information was clear on the town website. He said the website is horrendous “There is an inconsistency with different committee meetings. Sometimes meetings are posted, sometimes they’re not. The Public Information Officer needs to improve the communication vehicle. It’s very difficult to find out what’s going on unless it’s a very hot topic”
Earlier this year the town hired a new Public Information Officer at a salary of $70,000.
Chairman Dan Hughes said he was also unclear whether the meeting was going to be in Council Chambers or virtual due to COVID-19.
Hughes also said he called Mayor Ray Murphy to ask him if he was coming to the meeting. Hughes said Murphy told him he had no idea the meeting was even taking place, he had a prior commitment, and couldn’t make it. Murphy is the Audit Committee liaison to the town council. Hughes said this was the second consecutive meeting the Mayor said he was not notified of the Audit Committee meeting.
Hughes also said the reason he was absent from the last meeting was because he didn’t get notice.
A town staff member did tell the committee the town’s website was in the process of being modernized.