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The secret's out

   If a meeting involving elected officials isn't held before the public, does that make it a "secret" meeting?

  A number of Amherst Town Board members met privately with Benderson Development officials during a time when key votes for the rezoning of the $44 million Amherst Town Centre project on Maple Road were at stake.

  When The Buffalo News wrote about it, opponents of the project predictably accused the Town Board of cutting back-room deals. Town officials responded that they haven't kept the information shared at those meetings a secret from anyone.

  Supervisor Satish Mohan and others cited reasons of practicality and manageability for skirting the Open Meetings Law with Benderson Development at various times. There were no vote negotiations, they said.

   The public will have to decide whether to take their word for it since they weren’t there.

   --- Sandra Tan

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