Based upon available public records at this time, the Special Commission was not legitimate, and quite probably completely illegal. A smoking gun?
Take a look that this September 23, 2012 editorial from the Barnstable Patriot:
Now, take a look at this article (also from the Barnstble Patriot) from the same date:
After researching this matter further, there is no definitive evidence up to this point in time that the Barnstable County Commissioners actually held a formal vote to appoint Former Senators Rob O’leary or Henri Rauschenbach as Co-Chairman of the Special Commission on County Governance. In addition, no other members of the Special Commission were formally appointed by the County Commissioners either.
If one looks at the following article from the Barnstable Patriot dated April 6, 2011, it reveals that “…during the April 6 meeting of the Barnstable County Commissioners. O’Leary and Rauschenbach agreed to co-chair a special commission to look at county governance.”
However, if one looks at the official notes from the meeting for that day, it makes no mention of such an agreement or a vote by the county commissioners to appoint either of the gentlemen.
ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – APRIL 6, 2011
After researching the meeting notes for the month of March, 2011 at the following website, nothing could be found indicating that the County Commissioners had taken a vote with regard to appointing anyone to the Special Commission On County Governance.
Commissioner’s Meeting Notes
Please also review the following matters on what was discovered:
“Motion made by Sheila Lyons to establish the Special Committee on County Government and to meet with the proposed Chairman to establish the membership and charge. 2nd by Mary Pat Flynn, approved 3-0.”
“32) Executed a letter to Robert O’Leary and Henri Rauschenbach regarding the establishment of a special commission to review the present structure of County Government.”
It appears that on March 16, 2011 the County Commissioners agreed in concept to establish the Special Commission, and then on March 30, 2011 executed a letter to Rob O’Leary and Henri Rauschenbach relative to the concept of establishing the Special Commission on County Governance.
In addition to the fact there are no actual “minutes” available of any meetings held by the Barnstable County Commissioners, the main problem is that nowhere in any of these official records which are provided on the county website, does there appear to have been a vote by the County Commissioners to officially appoint anyone to the Special Commission as required by the provisions of the Barnstable County Home Rule Charter! Absent any official documents or records to the contrary, the only logical conclusion that can be reached by a reasonable person is that the Barnstable County Special Commission on County Governance, its activities, final recommendations & report as well as any and all subsequent related actions taken by the County Commissioners were not and are NOT LEGITIMATE and quite likely ILLEGAL!
RON BEATY, West Barnstable, MA