State rules town violated Open Meeting Law

The state attorney general’s office recently ruled that the Kingston Board of Selectmen violated the state’s Open Meeting Law by failing to post notice of an emergency meeting to act on a one-day liquor license for the wedding of the son of Selectwoman Sandra MacFarlane.

Selectwoman Susan Munford filed the complaint about the meeting of which she and another member of the board received no notification.

Then-chairwoman Elaine Fiore called the meeting after MacFarlane notified her that her son’s wedding would have to be moved from her backyard to the town-owned senior center due to recent rains on Oct. 1, 2016.


The meeting later that day was attended by three selectmen, two of whom approved the license. MacFarlane was present but abstained from voting.

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The attorney general’s office found a second charge alleging that the meeting was held improperly not to be a violation of the law.

The meeting was deemed a “genuine emergency,” since immediate action was needed for the wedding later that day, according to the state ruling. As an emergency meeting, the normal 48-hour posting period would have been reduced to being posted “as soon as reasonably possible.”

It was never posted. The board was ordered to comply with the law’s requirements in the future.

Elaine Cushman Carroll can be reached at