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Open Government

Open Meetings

Public Information Act

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Other Volumes

Vol. 9 (2013-2014)
Vol. 8 (2012)
Vol. 7 (2010-2011)
Vol. 6 (2008-2009)
Vol. 5 (2006-2007)
Vol. 4 (2004-2005)
Vol. 3
(2000-2003)
Vol. 2 (1998-1999)
Vol. 1 (1992-1997)

 

   

2008-2009) Vol. 6 Official Opinions of the Open Meetings Compliance Board
6OMCB1 Open Session Requirement - Closed session on topic beyond scope of cited exceptions, held to be a violation - Violation not cured by subsequent disclosure - Minutes - Closed Session Statement - Inadequate description, held to be a violation - Notice Requirements - Timing - Posting of notice shortly before unanticipated meeting, held not to be a violation
Queen Anne's County Commissioners
6OMCB9 Notice Requirements - Method - Timing - Posted notice of closed session, held to comply with Act, Closed Session Procedures - Vote to close was held in open session, as required by Act, despite lack of audience - Minutes - Closed Session Statement - Inadequate description held to be a violation
Hebron Town Commission
6OMCB15 Notice Requirements - Method - Meeting notice on website calendar, held to comply with the Act
State Sewage Sludge Task Force
 
6OMCB17 Public Body - “Management Committee” of Baltimore Metropolitan Council, held not to be a Public Body
Baltimore Regional Transportation Board
6OMCB23 Administrative Function - Exclusion - Briefing by school system officials, held to be within the exclusion - Status of discussion about retaining a lobbyist - Closed Session Procedures - Voting - Voice vote permissible - Minutes - Closed Session Statement - Failure to cite statutory authority, held to be a violation
Prince George's County Board of Education
6OMCB32

Notice Requirements - Method - Submission of notice to widely circulated local newspaper, held to be permissible - Timing - Adequacy of notice period cannot be assessed - Open Session Requirements - Failure to comply, held to be a violation
School Board Nominating Commission of Anne Arundel County

6OMCB35

Administrative Function - Outside Exclusion - Issuance of quitclaim deed transferring county property interest - Exceptions Permitting Closed Session - Legal Advice - Consequences of providing quitclaim deed - Compliance Board - Authority and Procedures - Complaint - Level of specificity
Frederick County Board of Commissioners

6OMCB41 Notice Requirements - Method - Reliance on Internet Website - 2007 Legislation did not alter practice for public bodies that traditionally relied on website
State Water Quality Advisory Committee
6OMCB47 Minutes - Approval - One-month delay, justified by special circumstances - Failure of public body to approve draft minutes violated Act - Notice - Timing - Posting six days in advance at meeting, coupled with announcement during prior meeting, held to comply with Act
Kent County Planning Commission
6OMCB53 Administrative Function Exclusion - Selection of Clerk-Treasurer Held to Be Within Exclusion Given Provisions of Municipal Charter
Betterton Town Council
 
6OMCB57 Administrative Function Exclusion - County Council's Process of Appointing Planning Board Members Held to Fall Under Exclusion - Scope of Act - Act does not address retention of records not governed by Act
Montgomery County Council
 
6OMCB63 "Meeting" - To Extent Retreat Limited to Discussion of Interpersonal Relations and Social Conversation, Held not to Be a Meeting
Rockville City Council
6OMCB69 Compliance Board - Response to Complaint - Complaint that specifies sufficient detail so that public body may identify meeting and allegations satisfies Act
Board of Public Works
6OMCB74 Compliance Board - Complaint that specifies sufficient detail so that public body may identify meeting and allegations satisfies Act
Ocean City Council
6OMCB77 (2009) Compliance Board - Process - Neither party has burden of proof - Legal Advice - Fact issue addressed previously by counsel or lack of litigation not factors in reliance on exception - Written Statement - Topic Description merely reiterating statutory authority violated act - Meeting - Public body’s attendance at another entity’s meeting
Montgomery County Board of Education
6OMCB85 (2009) Notice - Absent evidence suggesting intentional delay, notice provided 5 days before meeting satisfied Act - Minutes - Procedures - Lag time of almost 4 months violated Act
Poolesville Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals
6OMCB89 Notice - Procedures - Failure to retain copy for one year: violation
State Water Quality Advisory Committee
6OMCB92 Exceptions Permitting Closed Session - Personnel matter, §10-508(a)(1) - Discussion of department audit outside the exception
Annapolis City Council Finance Committee
6OMCB96 Minutes - Content - Failure to include any information about topics considered in closed session beyond statutory language violated Act
Minutes - Content - When closed administrative function conducted as part of meeting governed by Act, subsequent publicly available minutes must provide information beyond “administrative matters”
Anne Arundel County Board of Education
6OMCB104 Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Personnel - City Council’s review of city manager’s performance held within exception
Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Legal And Personnel - While much of discussion came within exceptions, to extent discussion concerned decision to further explore outsourcing of municipal golf course, violated Act.
Mayor and City Council of Rockville
6OMCB110 Minutes - Contents - Level of detail - Transcript not required
Notice - Content - Agenda information not required
Notice - Timing - Absent evidence of intentional delay, posting on town’s bulletin board six days in advance of meeting satisfied Act
Poolesville Board of Zoning Appeals
6OMCB114 Closed Session Procedures - Failure to follow procedural requirements - violation Section 3
Village of Chevy Chase
6OMCB118

Minutes - Failure to prepare minutes following meetings attended by quorum within reasonable time violated Act
Takoma Park Committee on the Environment

6OMCB121 Closed Session Procedures - Written Statement - public access - timing
Closed Session Procedures - Written Statement - required detail
Minutes - Closed Session - document reflects suggestion discussion violates Act

County Council of Prince George’s County
6OMCB127 Closed Session Procedures - public vote shortly before closed meeting during same session satisfied Act
Closed Session Procedures - Written Statement - disclosure of contractual matter, citing statutory authority and noting attorney-client privilege satisfied Act
Closed Session - Written Statement - Personnel Matter - document need not name appointee
Compliance Board - Authority and Procedures - complainants should be limited to requirements of the Act
Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Legal Advice - session initiated by counsel where public body aware of general subject matter allowed
Exceptions Permitting Closed Session - Legal Advice - substantive decisions by public body as to content of contract beyond exception
Exceptions Permitting Closed Session - Legal Advice - public body entitled to meet with counsel to review prior legal advice counsel had provided
Minutes - Closed Session Statement - failure to report required information as single item violated Act
Open Session - meeting must be conducted in manner that public, as a practical matter, is aware of actions taken

Board of County Commissioners of Kent County
6OMCB140 Public Body - Determined not to be a meeting - Subcommittees of the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee created by informal consensus
Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (“MBPAC”)
6OMCB145 Administrative Function - Within Exclusion - Briefing of school board on approval of contract by superintendent solely for informational purposes
Administrative Function - Outside Exclusion - Briefing of school board on approval of contract by superintendent if school board’s consent required
Minutes - Generally - Public entitled to assume that approved minutes of public body are accurate

Anne Arundel County Board of Education
6OMCB151 Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions — Legal Advice — Discussion of alternatives to county's request for Waiver of Maintenance of Effort Funding Level violated Act
Frederick County Board of Education
6OMCB155
(2009)
Public Body - Informal subgroup established by single council member - Not a public body
Meeting - Convening of quorum of council during course of informally designated subgroup meeting - Triggered Open Meetings Act
Town of Forest Heights
6OMCB161
(2009)
Minutes - Preparation within reasonable time required.
Chesapeake Beach Town Council
6OMCB164
(2009)
Notice Requirements - Method - Public body has discretion in selecting appropriate media outlet
Minutes - Content - Detail required
Minutes - Preparation within reasonable time - Body that only meets periodically is responsible for ensuring minutes available with reasonable promptness
Compliance Board - Jurisdiction - Board limited to interpreting Open Meetings Act
School Board Nominating Commission for Anne Arundel County
6OMCB171
(2009)
Minutes - Content - Failure to include any information about topics considered beyond statutory language, violated Act
Closed Sessions - Attendance - Compliance Board will not second guess public body’s exercise of discretion as to staff included during closed session absent evidence action was arbitrary and without apparent basis
Compliance Board - Authority and Procedures - Complaint must explain in what manner public body violated Act
Minutes - Record of closed session for administrative function - Required disclosures
Calvert County Board of Education
6OMCB180 Administrative Function Exclusion - Outside Exclusion - Discussions of county department consolidation
Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Personnel - Outside Exception - Discussions regarding county department consolidation and severance packages, timing of layoffs, alternatives to consolidation, and consolidation merits
Worcester County
 
6OMCB187 Minutes - Procedures - Practice in Violation - Failure to approve
Minutes - Procedures - No obligation to post minutes on website
Board of Education for Montgomery County
6OMCB192 Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions – Business Location, §10-508(a)(4) – Discussion of collateral matters which public body would be expected to address in evaluating business proposal – within exception

Compliance Board – Authority and Procedures – Minutes of closed session submitted for Compliance Board’s review – Confidentiality generally required
Kent County Commissioners

6OMCB196
(2009)
Notice – Content – Agenda for closed session not required
Notice – Method – Posting in glass case outside town hall satisfied Act
Closed Session Procedures – Written Statement – Document failed to satisfy other documentation requirements relating to closed session
Mayor and Common Council of the Town of University Park
6OMCB203
(2009)
Minutes – Failure to produce minutes following meeting violated Act
Minutes – Public Access – Posting on website not required
Compliance Board – Response to Complaint – Public body’s failure to respond in timely manner violated Act
Sport Fish Advisory Commission
Tidal Fish Advisory Commission

 

 

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