Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Document: South Burlington City Attorney's memo regarding alleged open meeting law violation

Document: South Burlington City Attorney's memo regarding alleged open meeting law violation

Ratings: (0)|Views: 203 |Likes:
Published by Philip Tortora
Document: South Burlington City Attorney's memo regarding alleged open meeting law violation
Document: South Burlington City Attorney's memo regarding alleged open meeting law violation

More info:

Categories:Types, Legal forms
Published by: Philip Tortora on Feb 20, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

04/09/2014

pdf

text

original

 
MEMORANDUM
To: Kevin Dorn, City Manager From: Jim Barlow, Legal Counsel Date: February 19, 2014 Re: Alleged Open Meeting Law Violation This is in response to your request for my opinion as to what factors would have needed to be in place for a violation of the Open Meeting Law. You explained that a resident alleged that three members of
the Council had violated Vermont’s
Open Meeting Law. The alleged violation occurred when these Council members
attended a “launch party” hosted by the Energy Committee to publicize the City’s
participation in a national energy competition sponsored by Georgetown University. The resident asserted that since three Council members were in the same room at a meeting and that meeting had not been warned as a meeting of the Council, then these members had, in her opinion, violated the Open Meeting Law. The Open Meeting Law applies to the
meetings
 of a
 public body 
. The City Council is a public body subject to t
he Open Meeting Law. 1 V.S.A. §310(3). A “meeting” is defined under the Open Meeting Law as “a gathering of a quorum of the members of a public body for the purpose of discussing the business of the public body or for the purpose of taking action.”
1 V.S.A. §310(2). With a few limited exceptions, all meetings of a public body must be warned in accordance with 1 V.S.A. §312(c)(1)-(3). In my opinion, for a violation of the Open Meeting Law to have occurred there must have been: (1) a quorum of City Council members gathered at the launch party, and (2) discussion of Council business by the Council members who were present. If both these thresholds were met, and if this gathering was not warned as a special or emergency meeting of the Council, then an Open Meeting Law violation may have occurred. However, the mere presence of three members of the City Council at the launch party would not have
been an Open Meeting Law violation. The key element is whether the members were gathered “for the
purpose of
discussing the business of the *City Council+.” If there was no discussion of City Council
business by the Council members at the launch party, then no Open Meeting Law violation could have occurred. Additionally, there is an exception in the Open Mee
ting Law for “*r+outine day
-to-day administrative
matters that do not require action by the public body.” 1 V.S.A. §312(g). Such matters “may be
conducted outside a duly warned meeting, provided that no money is appropriated, expended, or
encumbered.”
Id.
On November 18, 2013 the Council voted unanimously to approve the City’s
participation in the Georgetown University energy competition. No further action by the Council was

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->