August 6, 2011

Digital devices divide -- and connect -- Vermont communities

A fascinating discussion on Vermont Digger about the use of electronic devices in public meetings. Jim Condos, Secretary of State, entered the discussion with this comment and a quote from Vermont's Open Meeting Law.

"It has been the position of this office with my predecessor and is now with me, that if you have a legislative body with a quorum discussing or doing the business under its control, then it is a public meeting and needs to be warned and minutes taken. It does not matter if its a work session or regular meeting."

Public officials and Town committee persons should take care to heed this warning (below). I had never thought of it before.


WHEN DOES THE OPEN MEETING LAW APPLY?
Whenever a quorum (a majority) of a public body meets to discuss the business of the board or to take action, the open meeting law will apply.
This means that if a majority of a board find themselves together at a social function they must take care not to discuss the business of the board!





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