And I thought Atkinson NH’s knucklehead part time Police Chief Phil Consentino, subject of endless lawsuits against that town, was the only problem child Atkinson had. (It must be something in the water – let’s not go there right now.)
Nope, State Representative Jim Garrity has popped up as a “presenter,” or as they call them in the State Legislature, sponsor, of a questionable piece of legislation aimed at, of all things, the Right to Know Law, RSA 91-A.
I say “presenter” instead of sponsor because a sponsor of a bill would seem have a reason for doing so. There is no reason whatsoever anyone would want to sponsor a bill such as Jim Garrity has done if not for the want of mischief, in this case future lawsuits by taxpayers aimed at acquiring public information.
Here is the meat behind Rep. Jim Garrity’s inspiring piece of legislation. He wants to remove the words “agency or authority” from the types of government bodies or subdivisions of the State from the law as it exists now.
Since this makes no sense it must have another purpose and from my desk it looks like trouble, all in the name of?
Pick a law, almost any law, and the purpose of that law will be laid out in the first few sentences. Below is a sample of some simple, basic statutory language regarding State Records and Archives, this bill would affect.
5:30 Duties of Director. – The director shall, with due regard for the functions of the agencies concerned, and subject to the approval of the secretary…
I. Establish standards, procedures, and techniques for effective management of state records.
RSA 5:33 Agency Heads. – The head of each agency shall:
The list of state laws affected by this is endless.
So what in the world is wrong with having the word Agency used to describe a political subdivision, which is what they are. Why not remove “political subdivision?”
I won’t even bother with Rep. Jim Garrity’s presenting this proposed bill to remove the word, “authority” from RSA 91-A as well because that makes no sense either.
But it must be the desire of some “agency” to have itself seem to be removed from the public’s right to know. That will take some ferreting out.
And isn’t this why we have the Right to Know Law in the first place? Not only is RSA 91-A the law in NH, we amended the state constitution almost thirty years ago just to include it.
Some elected officials hate that.