AG: No Violation by Commission on Disability in City
LOWELL -- The city’s Commission on Disability did not violate the Open Meeting Law, the state’s Office of the Attorney General ruled in response to a complaint that the commission posts notices and holds meetings in inaccessible locations.
Linda Gibson on Oct. 24 sent a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office, alleging that the Lowell Commission on Disability violated the Open Meeting Law.
The complaint stated that the commission’s notice posting location -- a bulletin board outside City Hall -- is inaccessible to everyone, particularly to people using wheelchairs.
In addition, the complaint stated that the commission’s meeting location is inaccessible to everyone; the meetings usually held in a conference room on the second floor at City Hall do not accommodate people using wheelchairs and the elevator at City Hall does not accommodate more than one wheelchair at a time, the complaint alleges.
However, Hanne Rush of the state’s Office of the Attorney General ruled that the city’s commission did not violate the Open Meeting Law.
Based on the measurements of the bulletin board, they found that the commission’s notice posting location is accessible. The height of the bulletin board is 42 inches, and the base of the bulletin board is 33.5 inches from the ground. Meeting notices are generally posted in 12-point font.
Rush also stated that the commission’s meeting location on the second floor is accessible to everyone. The room is large enough to accommodate members of the public, including those who are mobility impaired, according to the ruling.