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Town of Barrington Not a Completely Open Government

Several Barrington residents have complained to us that the Town of Barrington isn’t properly notifying its taxpayers about upcoming meetings and the contents of those meetings in advance. Certainly, the Town has an events calendar on its website that lists upcoming events, but we’ve found that it doesn’t actually list all of the upcoming events – for an instance, it doesn’t list the Select Board meetings that have been scheduled for February, March, and April of 2020. We’ve included these meetings in the event calendar in our Print Edition of our newspaper, that we distributed to four locations in town this week – First Seacoast Bank, Barrington Public Library, Millo’s Pizza and Grill, and Kozy’s Pizza. We have also added the Town events that the Town isn’t listing yet to our own event calendar.

The Town also isn’t including agendas in upcoming meetings on its website, so, for instance, the Select Board meeting on January 6th, 2020 has no further information about what will be discussed at the meeting in the event calendar on the Town’s website. The Town has the capability to include an agenda and other documents that pertain to the meeting in their events calendar, but they simply aren’t, so taxpayers won’t know what will be discussed at upcoming meetings unless they are in direct contact with the Town in advance, which most taxpayers work full-time jobs and have families to feed – they need the Town to do its due diligence and post the information to its website.

We’ve also had a problem with getting notifications from the Town, through its notifications subscription service. Town Administrator Conner MacIver said that there is currently an IT problem with the Town’s website that the subscription service does not work, and the Town is waiting for CivicPlus, the company that designed the website, to respond and fix the problem. It’s been about a month so far, and it’s still not fixed. Barrington Town News would like to be updated every time the Town modifies something on its website, however, currently, we do not have this privilege. We could be providing the community with so much more news about the Town, however if we don’t get notified about the Town’s activities, we can’t follow-up on them.

Small town newspapers serve the purpose of keeping their local governments in check, and that is exactly what we are doing. If we see or hear about something that isn’t quite right, we’re going to publish it online so that the entire community can learn about it. We hope that the Town of Barrington will improve its transparency and openness in the future. We don’t hold a grudge towards the Town – we just want to make sure that the community stays informed about upcoming events and Town business, and the issues that we’ve pointed out need major corrections from the Town of Barrington.

Do you know about something that isn’t quite right with the Town of Barrington? You can report these problems to us as an anonymous source (i.e. we won’t print your name or identifying information) by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We follow-up on every inquiry that we get. If you, as a taxpayer, don’t agree with something that the Town is doing, or you believe they’re doing something wrong, please let us know so we can give your issue a voice in this newspaper. We’ll use investigative journalism to bring the truth to light about what is really going on.