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No purpose served in misquotes, trustee says

The writer serves on the board of trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library.

RE: “A challenge for good people to comply with open-meeting laws” [Viewpoint, Feb. 19]:

Regarding this letter to the community from Jan Mitchell-Love, in which I am frequently mentioned, there are several points I could rebut, including the instances in which Mitchell-Love accuses me of lying, but I will limit my reaction to these two points for the record:

1. I never said I knew I was “breaking Open Meeting Law.” What I said in an email to the trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library on Dec. 16, 2013 was, “I know I’m breaking the rules here but I do think it is useful and important to read the attached documents prior to our meeting.” I was referring to our agreement not to send fellow trustees long documents by email. This is not the first time I have been falsely quoted.

2. On the issue of my not attending the presentation on Open Meeting Law by Secretary of State Jim Condos, Mitchell-Love would be well-advised to know the reason for my (or anyone’s) absence before assuming that I simply didn’t care enough to show up — a charge she levels against no other trustee, even though only two of nine attended that meeting.

Just as she must have good reasons for not appearing at such library events as the holiday party and a recent educational program, both sponsored by the Friends of the Library, I, too, had a good reason to be absent that night, which is why my husband attended in order to learn what Condos said.

No purpose is served by misquotes and ungrounded assumptions being included in official documents that attempt to ensnare or malign trustees with whom one doesn’t agree.

I hope it will not happen again, to any trustee.

Elayne Clift
Saxtons River

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Originally published in The Commons issue #243 (Wednesday, February 26, 2014). This story appeared on page D2.

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