Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Live reporting - Open Meeting Law


Update of the New Open Meeting Law – Mark Cerel

The document Mark references can be found here:

implications of the changes
need to be enforced by all committee chairpersons
notice now excludes Saturdays in the calculation of 'notice'
listing of topics does not necessarily equate with the agenda, needs to be fairly specific
should supplement the meeting notice as soon as practical, make a reasonable attempt
enforcement has been shifted to the Attorney Generals Office

obligation of the chair to notify the participants of recording
recorder does need to notify the chair if recording is being done

citizens right to speech is not expanded by these changes

grounds for executive session have not changed
need to declare that to take up the topic in open session would be prejudicial
new language for the Town will be developed

Franklin's minutes as currently prepared currently exceed most requirements
documents used in the meetings now come under the meeting record requirements

Civil penalty of $1,000 as a last and final step for violations

"deliberation' is a term still being defined, it is in flux at this time
"meeting" is also a problem as it contains conditions of 'deliberation'

"reasonably anticipates will be discussed at meeting" the exact meaning of this phrase is to be determined

attorney/client privilege - equally available to municipal clients as it is to common clients, interpretation of this with Open Meeting Law remains to be defined

I asked for a clarification on my own recording of the meeting as it is being recorded and broadcast by the Town.
per Mark's response, I will need to declare for future meetings (no issue, just wanted to make sure what I needed to do).

Franklin, MA

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