What is Lexington Town Council Hiding?

Lake and Main has previously documented violations of State transparency laws by Lexington Town Council.  Nonetheless, the arrogance and disrespect for citizen rights continues under the reign of Mayor Steve MacDougall.

The latest revelation regards the pending construction of a new middle school by Lexington School District 1.  Town Councilman Steve Baker made remarks on the Facebook page of District Board member Jada Garris indicating Town Council continues it’s secretive ways.
In the exchange (below), Councilman Baker wrote that Council has discussed the impact of the new school and that “we are all in agreement that we believe Old Cherokee should be 4 lanes if the school goes there.”
When Ms. Garris asked where she could find the Council agenda minutes on the discussion, Baker backtracked, saying “it has all been conversation outside of official business being handled.”  He then admitted, “You will not find any minutes or agenda items.”
These comments, made by an elected official in a public forum prompted Lake and Main to email every member of the Town Council about it’s “discussion” of the new middle school.  The text of that May 4 email, in it’s entirety, follows.
According to Facebook commentary by Council Member Baker, Council has “discussed it, and we are all in all in agreement…”  and further saying “it has all been conversation outside of official business being handled.” 
Please explain why this issue is not being discussed in public fora rather than “outside of official business.”
What does “being handled mean?”  
When Mr. Baker says “…we are all in agreement,” how was that apparent unanimity determine – by vote?
How often does Town Council determine matters of the Town “outside of official business?”

As of this date, not a single member of Town Council has responded.  A legitimate inquiry by a citizen regarding public comments made by an elected member of Town government has been ignored.  Mayor MacDougall has said he will not reply to any of my correspondence, a petulant reaction that further raises suspicions.

It also causes speculation that the Mayor instructed council members to ignore the email.  I hope not, because a gag order would be frightening.

MacDougall’s penchant for secrecy and conducting business out of the public eye under the rubric of “executive session” is unacceptable and may well ricochet on the mayor one day.


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