That's a quote from the Maryland Open Meetings Act manual. That's Maryland law.A public body cannot avoid its obligations under the Act by labeling its meeting a “work session” or “pre-meeting,” or by gathering together at some location other than the customary meeting room. Maryland Open Meetings Act manual, page 9.
But, this afternoon, in direct violation of the Maryland Open Meetings Act the Montgomery County Board of Education will move their meeting to a side room without cameras, and without room for the public to observe, and have a "work session" for an undisclosed amount of time.
Your right to observe the deliberations of this public body? That is irrelevant to our elected officials apparently.
What the Board has spent on legal advice about the Maryland Open Meetings Act? In November 2011 alone, your Board of Education paid $30,380 in legal fees from the MCPS Operating Budget to one outside law firm.
Your* cost for dinner: unknown.
Yes, $30,000 is one less teacher in a classroom. But it's worth it for the elected Board of Education to conduct the public business off camera, in violation of the Open Meetings Act, and with food, right?
*It's your tax dollars.