School Board Chairman Matt Dailey should consider the example he is setting in the community as he attempts to punish State Rep. Owen Casas for his role in a request for public documents by kicking him off a committee. It seems the chairman is on a power trip.

Dailey said in an email Casas is being removed from the Middle School Building Committee because he did not disclose his role in an August Freedom of Access Act request.

Specifically, Maggie Timmerman submitted a request under the state law for all of the emails and documents pertaining to the Mary E. Taylor building. Casas apparently advised her to take advantage of this right, and she ended up reviewing 900 pages of documents.

Casas has said he wants due process, and as we were going to press Tuesday, he planned to attend the Dec. 20 school board meeting to plead his case.

The Freedom of Access Act is there to protect the right of Maine's citizens to know what government entities, including public school districts, are doing.

Dailey said, "He [Casas] supported an effort that he knew was without merit and would be costly to the school district in terms of money and time."

First of all, any citizen at any time should feel free to take advantage of their legal right to request public documents without fear of reprisals, retaliation or punishment from the school board chairman.

The statement that providing these documents is costly is hyperbole. If you have a document on your computer and you push the print button, or you have to take a file from the filing cabinet to the copy machine, that's hardly taxing for a school district that employs numerous office staff workers.

Usually a government entity can avoid a blanket Freedom of Access request by simply being transparent and helpfully answering citizens' questions. The occasional inconvenience of dealing with a request for documents is the price we pay to remain a free society.

In addition, a school board chairman must rise above it all, rather than taking it personally. Has it really helped the school district for him to go on news websites calling a local legislator a liar?

We would encourage school leaders and members of the community to listen to each other and remain open-minded as the community pushes forward with plans for the new middle school and decides the fate of the Mary E. Taylor building. It can be frustrating, when you have been working for months or years on a project, to have questions arise late in the game, and we recognize that there are strong arguments on both sides in the discussion about whether to tear down the old school, but we urge all involved to avoid drama and remain calm.

People on both sides will share this school in the future.

Shout-out from "Hamilton" creator

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer and playwright famous for bringing the world "Hamilton," mentioned the recent Camden Hills production of his first Broadway hit, "In the Heights" in a tweet Dec. 19.

"I have to let you in on the George Bailey-est part of my life," he wrote, "the COUNTLESS regional productions of Heights who have used their gifts to raise money for [Puerto Rico]. Here's Camden Hills HS w $607 for @HispanicFed. It makes me cry every time. Thank you."

And he included a photo of the cast of the Camden Hills Regional High School fall musical. Not bad!