Town officials meet, discuss ‘unified’ safety and security plan

When Weston’s first selectman met with several other town officials on Sunday to discuss security issues, the public wasn’t invited — and that was on purpose, not an oversight.

The meeting, posted briefly on the town website but then removed, caused some confusion over the weekend.

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said Monday that she did, in fact, meet with several other town officials, but it was not a public meeting, and therefore did not need to be posted. Because she had reserved the room, an intern briefly posted it online, but the notice was later removed when the mistake was discovered.

“I have meetings behind closed doors with people all the time,” and those are not public meetings, Ms. Weinstein said.

Ms. Weinstein said the meeting Sunday did not fall into the category of a public meeting — for which there are state regulations for posting notices, agendas and minutes — because there was no quorum of any board or commission.

She said those present at the meeting included herself, the chairmen of the Police Commission, the school board and the finance board, the school superintendent, the police chief, and a police sergeant. She called them together to discuss safety and security issues.

“It’s important for the public to know the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Education, and the police will be working closely together to create a unified safety and security plan for the town,” Ms. Weinstein said.

The first selectman acknowledged that “the schools have an excellent structure in place,” but any incident like the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown last month gives the town a reason to review its protocols and procedures.

“I felt it was important to have the principal stakeholders in the room at the same time to make sure we have a unified effort moving forward,” Ms. Weinstein said.

However, she said, it was not the time to elicit public input. “We didn’t discuss any nuts and bolts or specifics. This was a very theoretical discussion,” she said.

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