Thursday, August 7, 2014

Open Meeting Compliance Board Annual Meeting - All Welcome

The Open Meetings Compliance Board will hold its annual meeting at 10:00 a.m. on  August 20, 2014 at the Office of the Attorney General, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, Md.   Before holding the annual meeting, the Board will meet at 9:15 to discuss organizational matters.  The public is invited to both sessions.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Ms. Deborah Spence at OpenGov@oag.state.md.us or 410-576-6327 so that we may make the necessary arrangements.

5 comments:

  1. If you go, please record the Open Meetings Compliance Board annual meeting for those who are unable to attend and post the recording on U-Tube. In the past, the Office of the Attorney General hasn't been able or willing to record and post it at http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/board.htm

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    1. It sounds like an open wide shut meeting.

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    2. What is the agenda for the annual "open wide shut meeting" of the Open Meetings Compliance Board? The Maryland Association of Boards of Election opposed HB 157 (2014) (Open Meetings Act - Advance Notice of Meeting - Agenda) as pasted below. HB 157 (amended) failed. Wondering if the compliance board will address as a legislative proposal that public bodies be required to provide agenda.
      BILL: House Bill 157
      TITLE: Open Meetings Act – Advance Notice of Meeting – Agenda
      DATE: January 29, 2014
      POSITION: OPPOSE
      COMMITTEE: Health and Government Operations Committee
      CONTACT: John R. Woolums, Esq.

      The Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE), representing all of the state's boards
      of education, opposes House Bill 157. The bill would impose an unnecessarily rigid requirement
      on public bodies, including boards of education, to produce detailed agendas in advance of not
      only open but also closed meetings.

      Currently, the Open Meetings Act allows boards of education to meet in closed session under
      limited and specific circumstances. Those circumstances involve confidential matters which, if
      made public, could inhibit the ability of the board to properly conduct its business. For example,
      current law allows a board of education to discuss personnel matters in closed session, as well
      as land acquisition, the parameters for collective bargaining, sensitive public security matters
      concerning student safety, contract negotiations, litigation strategies, and several other
      confidential matters necessary for the efficient operations of the public schools. The law
      recognizes that, if these discussions were to be made in open session, it would severely hamper
      the board’s ability to meet the needs of the public and to fulfill its obligations.

      The Open Meetings Act represents a comprehensive and carefully crafted balance between the
      board’s ability to conduct its business and the right of the public to know about it. For example,
      prior to closing a session, the board must publicly state the purpose of the closed meeting, must
      vote in open session to close the meeting, and must maintain minutes of the closed meeting. In
      addition, the minutes of the next open session must include a description of the topics discussed
      and actions taken in the closed session. In this way, the public is informed about the closed
      session, but at the same time the board is allowed to conduct its sensitive business in a
      confidential manner.

      House Bill 157 would unwisely disturb the balance struck in the Open Meetings Act by impeding
      the transition from open to closed meetings through a new requirement that a detailed agenda
      be produced in advance.

      For this reason, MABE requests an unfavorable report on House Bill 157.

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  2. Who will be providing catering services?

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  3. Minutes for the Open Meetings Compliance Board recent annual meeting on August 20, 2014 were posted on the Office of the Attorney General web site last week along with the Annual Report (22nd.) to the General Assembly and Governor. Opinion piece by the Editor about the report appeared in the Carroll County Times on Sunday. He didn't attend.

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