Governmental Transparency


Government should be transparent.  Transparency enables accountability and provides information for the  people about what their Government is doing.

Government should be participatory.

Public engagement improves the Government's effectiveness and enhances the quality of its decisions.

Government should be collaborative. 

Collaboration actively engages citizens in the work of their Government.

As your Selectman I was very much aware of my obligation to maintain transparent government.

While not in office, during the past year, I have taken personal steps to forward the practice of governmental transparency in Wayland.

  1. I have used my own digital equipment to film, produce and air governmental meetings in a WebCam format both on WayCAM and via my multimedia streaming internet site.

  2. I have worked with WayCAM to consult on technical issues to improve their process and enhance their technical capabilities.

  3. I have worked on filming the Assessors and have provided statistical analysis to others to help citizens in their abatement process and in helping to improve the transparency of the assessment process in general.


I don't. I believe that such seminars are only meant for public meeting places where ALL citizens can gain access with proper and transparent notifications.

Oddly enough, as long as no quorum of any given board or committee is present, then the law does not prohibit such activities.  The way they get around this is by having only one representative from each board present.  In this way, you can have 5 boards represented by one member only, and there is no quorum.  Its legal, but is it right?

Unfortunately, closed-door, special interest presentations in private homes by governmental officials and town employees are still going on as politics for the privileged in Wayland in 2009.

Were you invited?

Is this transparency?

See the Video shot on 23-February-2009 of Selectman Douglas Leard confronting Selectman Michael Tichnor (Chair of the Selectman) about this attendance of the private SOS meeting.  Remember, the agenda was published and well known in advance and you can link to it right here.

At the March 9th, 2009 Selectmen meeting and at Selectmen’s concerns and reports, item one was my request to have a meeting for the 13,000 Wayland Citizens to be held at town hall which would be identical in content and presentation to the 24-Feb-2009 SOS meeting.  The board decided to do this but only after the summer and not before the upcoming election.

The following is a 4 part set of videos which show the lively debate during the 35 minute discussion:


Wayland tax calculator

During my previous term I created and distributed a standalone tax calculator which allowed every citizen to analyze the assessment and tax history of any property in Wayland.

This was tax transparency.

Assessors chart

During my previous term I was able to convince the Board of Assessors to publish a history of Assessments and Tax increases in Wayland.

This had never been done before and it exists now on the Board of Assessors website.

This was more tax transparency.


Were you invited?

Save Our Services - a grassroots organization which has had a major influence on the passage of override ballot questions in Wayland over a number of years, recently sent an invitation to the power players of Wayland. Included were: the Chairs of the Selectmen, FinCom, Planning Board, High School Building Committee; the Vice Chair of the School Committee, plus our Town Administrator and our School Superintendent.

This amazing assembly of powerful elected and appointed officials, and town employees, have agreed to meet at a private residence in Wayland to give a private presentation - and the general public is NOT invited.  I know of no other public meeting (to date) of these public officials for the rest of us - the other 13,000 citizens.

Its all legal, they formed no quorum and no open meeting by carefully selecting those who are presenting.

But is it right?

How do you feel about this?


Interesting aftermath where the editor of the Crier Michael Wyner entered a blog entry under Reiss’ Open Letter of Invitation

Click Here to See

Letter from Lynne Dunbrack (member of the Planning Board) to the Crier on

“Not how a transparent government behaves”

The following quote out-takes provide you a glimpse of the conversation of each segment which lasted in total over 30 minutes.  These out-takes are ‘out of context’ but the entire context is there for you to see and hear by clicking on each video segment.

Michael Tichnor:

“Alan Reiss has asked that we take up his request that the town hold a sponsor a state of the town meeting between now and the election....”

“My take on this is that state of town meeting is a good idea and one we had tried before... concept is a good one...”

Douglas Leard:

“I guess I have to be the dissenting vote once again. I want to read some only because I want to make it clear...”

Joe Nolan:

“...SOS has been successful in advocating for certain things for the town and having some strength in town elections by their organization and trying to convey what was happening with overrides...”

Douglas Leard:

“The issue is... for me why I wasn’t I did not know that you were attending this meeting and that you ere even attending the MMA guidelines a member of the board may not independently unless specifically authorized by the board...  I feel offended....”