After two days of avoiding the question, the town has finally responded to my specific RSA 91-A questions:
Bob: Good morning. To definitively answer your question of yesterday of whether the settlement agreement has been signed yet, the answer is no. Relative to your formal request to see the signed settlement agreement, a document that does not yet exist, the clock on the 5-day response period under the Right-t-Know law will begin when I receive a copy of the signed document, and you will be provided with the reasons for the Town’s declining to make it available to you in that timeframe. Dave Owen
So they are still searching for those last few I’s and T’s.
If you read further, you will see that the town does not intend to disclose the settlement document to the public. That is, except the parts they want you to hear.
So think about it. The Selectmen are negotiating a $7.5 million contract for the town, and in the end, they don’t want the taxpayers and voters to be able to see the terms of that agreement.
I’ve been asking for this agreement for a month now. It’s possible that they are delaying the signing simply to retain their shield of secrecy and ability to conduct discussions in non-public session. At the last BOS meeting, the Chairwoman implied that the due date for the payment would be retroactive to the date of verbal agreement.
In any event, if and when they sign the agreement, and if they decline to make it available, it is relatively straightforward to ask the Superior Court to rule on it.