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Open Meetings Act

Public Information Act

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2013-2014 Vol. 9 Official Opinions of the Open Meetings Compliance Board
9OMCB1

Administrative Function - Outside Exclusion, discussion of:
matters falling within advisory and quasi-legislative functions

Advisory Function - formulation of recommendations under delegation by parent public body

Closed Session Procedures - Written Statement - Practices permitted
use of pre-prepared statement if adopted when the public body votes to close

Minutes - Procedures - Practices in violation failure to adopt without undue delay

Notice Requirements - Content - Notice requirement not met by notice of "executive" session

Open Session Requirement - Generally
meeting about "budgetary concerns" to be open unless Act expressly provides otherwise

Quasi-Legislative Function - Within the function:
the process as well as the act of approving, disapproving or amending a budget

Re: University System of Maryland Board of Regents
(Craig O'Donnell, Complainant)

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB15

Closed Session Procedures - General
Practices in violation
after-the-fact addition of reason for closed session
Closed Session Procedures - Written Statement
Practices in violation
failure to prepare written statement before closing meeting
Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions -
Business Relocation, sec 10-508(a)(4)
purpose and application of exception, generally
approval of legislation, outside exception
land use or financing matter that might generate future proposals from businesses, outside exception
Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions -
Marketing of Public Securities, sec 10-508(a)(6)
discussion of legislation on size of taxing district, outside exception

Board of Finance of Baltimore City
(Stephen Janis and Melissa Roeder (Fox45) and Luke Broadwater (The Baltimore Sun), Complainants

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB29

Administrative Function
Within Exclusion, discussion of:
Council's appointment to vacancy on the council
Closed Session Procedures
Written Statement, practices in violation
Failure to prepare written statement
Minutes
Closed Session Statement, practices in violation
Failure to prepare minutes or disclose summary of closed sessions
Open Session Requirement
Practices in violation
Discussing in a closed session topics not within the claimed exception

Re: Town Council, Town of Hurlock (Reverend Charles T. Cephas, Complainant)

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB37

Notice Requirements
Method, practices in violation
Notice only to people on distribution list

Re: Coastal and Watershed Resources Advisory Committee ("CWRAC")
Michele J. Fluss (Complainant)

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB40

Meeting - Determined to be a meeting:
interaction of a quorum on public business

Notice Requirements - Method - Generally
notice to be given to the general public

Re: Frederick County Board of County Commissioners
Catherine Forrence and Kimberly Melon (Complainants)

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB44

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions
Legal Advice, sec 10-508(as)(7) - Within exception
advice on legality of assessing fees against county

Re: Mayor and Council, City of Rockville, Joseph Jordan, (Complainant)

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB46

Closed Session Procedures - Written Statement

  • Practices in violation - omitting reason for closing and
    topic to be discussed
  • Failure to provide written statement to public at time
    of closing

Compliance Board - Authority and Procedures
Generally - Provision of written closing statement to
Board when person objects to closed session

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions -
Business Relocation, sec.10-508(a)(4)

  • Particular businesses' proposal to relocate in city

Re: Baltimore Development Corporation, Kevin Litten, Baltimore Business Journal, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB53

Public Body - Determined not to be a public body

  • gathering of agency personnel for training

Re: Department of Budget and Management Senior Procurement Advisory Group, Gary Goldberg, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB55

Scope of Act - Act applicable only to "meetings"
Meeting - Determined not to be a meeting
Quorum not present

Re: Board of County Commissioners of Frederick County
Kimberly Mellon, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB57

Closed Session Procedures - Written Statement
Generally - Written statement to comport with oral announcements to the public about the topics to be discussed

- Written statement to be prepared before the closed session

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions
Personnel, sec. 508(a)(1) - Outside exception, discussion of: amendment to town charter and town officers' authority

Notice Requirements - Content
Notice to include statement that meeting will be partly closed, when the topic can be anticipated

Open Session Requirement - Practices permitted
Holding the closed session in a different room than the one posted for the open meeting and then returning for the second part of the open meeting, if the public has been informed of that plan

Re: Mayor and Town Council of Rock Hall (consolidated complaints) Susan Francis, Robert Willis,and Grenville B. Whitman, Complainants

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB71

CLOSED SESSION PROCEDURES - GENERAL

  • Disclosures to be in plain language that tells public what will be discussed, and, as to each topic, why the public will be excluded, and what law permits the closing

EXCEPTIONS PERMITTING CLOSED SESSION - Collective Bargaining, Sec.10-508(a)(9)

  • Within exception: discussion of whether to ratify collective bargaining agreement that is not final until ratified by public body

PROCUREMENT, Sec.10-508(a)(14) - Within exception, discussion of

  • Naming rights when done as part of procurement process, if disclosure would adversely affect public body's ability to participate in the competitive bidding/proposal process

PROPERTY ACQUISITION, Sec.10-508(a)(3) - Outside exception, discussion of:

  • Sale of public body's real property

PRIVATE INFORMATION ABOUT INDIVIDUALS - CONCERNING MATTER NOT RELATED TO PUBLIC BUSINESS, Sec. 10-503 (a)(2)

  • Within exception, discussion of personal history of candidate for public honor

MINUTES OF OPEN SESSION - Contents - Practices Permitted

  • Not required to specify method of adoption when action not taken in open meeting
  • not required to contain extensive detail about sub-committee's adoption of minutes and election of officers
  • not required to repeat all of the information on the closing statement that was adopted and made available during the meeting

MINUTES OF OPEN SESSION - SUMMARY OF CLOSED SESSION IN MINUTES OF OPEN SESSION - Practices in Violation

  • descriptions of topics that bear no apparent connection to the cited exceptions
  • use of terms too vague to convey information
  • failure to include all items required by the act
  • use of specialized terms that the public probably does not understand

Re: University System of Maryland Board of Regents
Craig O'Donnell, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB78

ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTION - Within Exclusion, discussion of:

  • Issuance of check to implement decisions that had been reached during public sessions

EXCEPTIONS PERMITTING CLOSED SESSIONS - LEGAL ADVICE, Sec.10-508(a)(7) - WITHIN EXCEPTION

  • Receipt of legal advice on options for implementing decisions already taken publicly

EXCEPTIONS PERMITTING CLOSED SESSIONS - LITIGATION, Sec.10-508 - WITHIN EXCEPTION

  • Discussion of specific matter in and potentially in litigation

Re: Board of County Commissioners of Frederick County
Courtney Mabeus (Frederick News Post)
and Sonja Sperlich, Complainants

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB81

Public Body - Determined Not to be a Public Body

  • Committee Formed by School Superintendent

Re: Beach Redistricting Committee of the Board of
Education of Calvert County
Nick Myers, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB83

Administrative Function - Outside Exclusion, Discussion of:

  • Whether to Propose Budget Amendments

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Legal Advice, sec. 10-
508(A)(7)
- Within Exception

  • Receipt Of Counsel's Advice On Charter Requirements

Meeting - Determined to be a Meeting:

  • Convening of Quorum of Council at Subgroup Meeting

Notice Requirements - Timing

  • Practices In Violation - In the Absence of an Emergency, Giving
    Notice Right Before The Meeting


Public Body - Status Cannot be Determined Without Facts on
Creation

Re: City of Cambridge Finance Committee
Charles McFadden, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB92
  • Public Body - Determined to Be: Task Force Created by
    Resolution


  • Advisory Function - Performance of Delegated Function to
    Study a Matter of Public Concern


  • Minutes Of Open Session - Generally - Must be Generated
    for Public Body's Meetings

Re: Chestertown Waterfront Task Force
Craig O'Donnell, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB94
  • Meeting - Determined to be a Meeting
    • Attendance by a Quorum at Another Entity's Meeting,
      When Members Discussed Public Business
  • Public Body - Generally
    • Entities Created by Memorandum of Understanding
      Adopted by Public Body
  • Minutes of Open Session - Summary of Closed Session in
    Minutes of Open Session
    - Generally
    • Level of Detail Required

Re: Town Council of theTown of Chestertown
Craig O'Donnell, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB99
  • Closed Session Procedures - Voting - Practices in Violation
    Failure to Vote, in an Open Session, to Meet in Closed
    Session

  • Closed Session Procedures -Written Statement - Practices
    in Violation - Failure to Prepare Statements

  • Notice Requirements - Content - Violation: Notice of Only
    an "Executive Session" When Public Body was Required to
    Vote Publicly on Holding that Session

  • Minutes of Open Session - Contents -
    Failure to Include Closed-Session Summary in Open
    Session Minutes

  • Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Procurement, sec. 10-508(A)(14) - Presentations of Proposals by Competing Law Firms

  • Litigation, sec.10-508(A)(8) - Within Exception
    Discussion of Legal Options for Opposing a Project When
    Position had Already Been Reached


Re: Town Council of the Town of Chevy
Ronit Aviva Dancis, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB103
  • Public Body -Determined Not to be a Public Body
    Committees Created and Appointed by One County
    Commissioner, Acting Alone

  • Notice Requirements - Content
    Notice Required to Identify the Public Body That Will
    Meet

  • Open Session Requirement - Practices In Violation
    Discussion of Public Business by a Quorum of the Public
    Body's Members Without Public Notice of the Meeting

Re: Carroll County Board Of Commissioners
Linda Pallay, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB110
  • Administrative Function -Within Exclusion, Discussion Of:
    Resignation Of Employee; Press Release

  • Notice Requirement -Method
    Practices In Violation - Use Of Website Alone When Meeting
    Called On Short Notice

  • Closed Session Procedures -Written Statement
    Practices in Violation
    Failure to Prepare; Failure to Specify Reason for Closing

  • Minutes of Open Session -Procedure - Practices Permitted
    Routine Adoption at Regular Monthly Meetings

  • Minutes of Open Session - Summary of Closed Session in
    Minutes of Open Session -Practices in Violation
    Failure to Include Summary

  • Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Litigation, sec. 10-508(A)(1)
    Applicable to Discussions with Counsel About Potential
    Litigation Arising From Contract Changes

  • Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Procurement, sec. 10-508(A)(14)
    Applicable to Non-Competitive Contract Discussions Only
    When Disclosure Would Adversely Affect a Specific,
    Related Competitive Procurement

Re: Maryland Health Benefit Exchange
Craig O'donnell, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB125

Notice Requirement - Method

  • Practices in Violation - Use of Website Alone When Meeting Called on Short Notice

Re: Morgan State University Board of Regents Executive Committee
Eric White, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB127
  • Compliance Board - Authority And Procedures -Generally
    Announcement of Violation Found by Compliance Board, Sufficient

  • Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Legal Advice, sec. 10-508(A)(5) - Within Exception
    Discussion with Town Attorney

  • Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Litigation, sec. 10-508(A)(8) - Within Exception
    Discussion with Counsel and Lobbyists Regarding Advancing Position Already Adopted Publicly

  • Minutes Of Open Session - Generally
    Written Closing Statement Prepared Before a Closed Session Not a Substitute for Sealed Minutes of the Session

Re: Town Council of the Town of Chevy Chase
Miriam Schoenbaum, Complainant


*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB132
  • Closed Session Procedures -Written Statement - Generally
    Written Statement Must Reflect the Exception Cited in the Motion to Close

  • Compliance Board - Authority And Procedures - Response to Complaint
    No Violation Found

  • Compliance Board - Authority And Procedures - Opinions
    Consideration Only of Exceptions Properly Claimed on Closing Statement

  • Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Personnel, sec. 10-508(A)(1) - Outside Exception, Discussion of:
    Staffing Needs, Generally
    Performance of Contract to Provide Services within Exception, Discussion of:
    Performance of Contractors' Employees, if Public Body has Authority to Remove Them

  • Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Procurement, sec. 10-508(A)(14) - Outside Exception, Discussion of:
    Generally Task Orders, Change Orders, and Sole Source Contracts

  • Minutes of Open Session - Summary of Closed Session in Minutes of Open Session
    Preferably In Plain Language

 

Re: Maryland Health Benefit Exchange
Craig O'Donnell, Complainant


*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB141
  • Closed Session Procedures - Voting - Practices in Violation
    Failure to Vote in Open Session

  • Closed Session Procedures -Written Statement - Practices in Violation
    Failure to Prepare Written Statement

  • Notice Requirements - Content
    Closed Session Not Anticipated Until Shortly Before Meeting: Failure to Reflect in Notice Not Violation

Re: City of Crisfield
David R. Marquis, Complainant


*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB146

Notice Requirements - Method - practices permitted
use of website, city calendar, and City bulletin board; e-mail to complainant to correct statement that meeting would be closed

Minutes of Open Session - Procedures - practices permitted
adoption by quorum

Open Session Requirement - Generally
under the Act, public not entitled to speak at meetings

Compliance Board - Authority and Procedures - Jurisdictional limits
Open Meetings Act issues only

Re: City of Gaithersburg Community Advisory Committee
Merceda D. Gooding, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB149

Public Body Determined not to be a Public Body
Committee Appointed By School Board President

Meeting - Determined not to be a Public Body
Gathering Not Attended By A Quorum

Re: Montgomery County Board of Education
Danuta Wilson, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB151

MINUTES OF OPEN SESSION - Summary of Closed Session in
Minutes of Open Session

PRACTICES IN VIOLATION - FAILURE TO INCLUDE SUMMARY IN MINUTES OF NEXT OPEN SESSION

ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTION -Within Exclusion, Discussion Of: Staging of work under existing Contract, in meeting held
after Adjournment (as Opposed to Recess) of Open
Session

PUBLIC BODY - Determined To Be A Public Body
Standing Committees created by Resolution

RECORDS - Public Body not required to post Cancellation
Notice on its Website past the date of the canceled
Meeting

Re: Mayor and Common Council of the City of Westminster
Craig O'Donnell, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB156

Notice Requirements - Content
Closed Session not Anticipated until shortly before Meeting: failure to reflect in Notice not a Violation

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Legal Advice, sec.10-508(A)(7) Within Exception
Receipt of Counsel's advice on how to respond to an Ethics Inquiry

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Legal Advice, sec.10-508(A)(7) Outside Exception
Discussion of whether to recommend Legislation on a matter

Closed Session Procedures - General - Practices In Violation
Failure to keep Closed - Session Minutes

Compliance Board - Authority And Procedures - Opinions
Disputed inferences not resolved

Re: Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities, Gordon Klang, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB160

Minutes Of Open Session - Summary of Closed Session in Minutes of Open Session - Practices Permitted
Incorporating separate document into minutes by reference, if document available for inspection with minutes

Minutes Of Open Session - Summary of Closed Session in Minutes of Open Session - Generally
Summary to be adopted by Public Body as part of Minutes

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Procurement, sec. 10-508(A)(14) - Outside Exception, Discussion Of:
discussion of Contract not involving competitive process
discussion of Procurement Procedures generally

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Property Acquisition, sec. 10-508(A)(3) - Within Exception, Discussion Of:
acquisition of property by lease

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Other Law sec. 10-508(A)(13)
Within Exception: discussion of Minutes sealed under the Act

Closed Session Decisions - Generally, methods of adopting closed-session Minutes

Re: Maryland Health Benefit Exchange
Craig O'Donnell, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB165

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Legal Advice, sec. 10-508(A)(5) - Within Exception
Discussion with Town Attorney

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Litigation, sec. 10-508(A)(8) - Within Exception
Discussion with Counsel and Lobbyists regarding advancing position already adopted Publicly

Re:  Town of Chevy Chase
Jacob Bardin, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB167 Closed Session Procedures - Generally, Practices in Violation
discussing, in closed session, topics not disclosed on written statement

Closed Session Procedures - Written Statement -  Violation
omitting topics to be discussed

Closed Session Procedures - Written Statement - Generally -
must be accurate

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Personnel, sec. 10-508 (a )(1), Outside exception, discussion ofgeneral staffing needs; public facility

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Personnel, sec. 10-508 (a)(1), Within exception, discussion of:
contract for specific individual

Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions - Legal Advice, sec. 10-508(a)(7), Outside exception
counsel not present

Re:  Mayor and Town Council, Town of Chestertown
Craig O'Donnell, Complainant

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB171

Applicability - Administrative Function Exclusion
Outside Exclusion, discussion of:  Budget deliberations

Applicability - Quasi-Legislative Function
Budget deliberations

Compliance Board -  Opinions
Insufficient information about function performed:  both possibilities addressed

Re:  Anne Arundel County Board of Education
Janis Sartucci and Colin Murphy, Complainants

*Topic headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2010 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB175

2(A) Public body's duty to give notice not altered by requirement that land use applicant notify neighbors of the meeting

6(A) Copy of notice - Requirement met when screenshot can be recovered

6(B)(2)(c)    Minutes - practices in violation
                        failure to prepare and adopt

Re:  Prince George's County Telecommunications
Transmission Facility Coordinating Committee

Janis Z. Sartucci, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB178

2 (A) failure to provide notice:  violation

3 (c) meeting without notice:  openness requirement violated

Re:  Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of Prince George's County

David Prater and Sabina Wear, Complainants

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

 

9OMCB180

1(C)(2) within administrative function exclusion:  ethics commission's choice of its officers or consideration of ethics complaint

1(C)(3)  outside administrative function exclusion:  consideration of new regulations or policy matters

1(J)     Quasi-legislative function:  consideration of new regulations or policies

2(B)    notice of "closed meeting":  must specify that the vote to close will be held in open session

3(C)    open meeting requirement:  violated by meeting in closed session without adequate written statement

5(C)    written statement for closing a meeting:  requirement not met by uninformative boilerplate

6(D)(2) closed session summary:  may be included in minutes of the session that was closed

 

Re:  Mayor and City Council of Town of Rock Hall and Ethics Commission of Rock Hall

Grenville B. Whitman, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB186

1(B) "Meetings" Subject to the Act:

(1) Discussion by Quorum at Every Stage of the Legislative Process;

(2) Generally, Use of Sequential Discussions With Individual Members as "Evasive Device" - Question of Intent Not Resolved by Board


4(G) Exceptions Permitting Closed Sessions: Limits of "Legal Advice" Exception, Discussed Generally

7(C) Compliance Board: Authority to Address Complaint Not Affected by Pending Circuit Court Action

7(D) Compliance Board Opinions:


(1) Disputes Of Fact Not Resolved;
(2) Claim that Topic Discussed in Closed Session Fell Within an Exception - Not Considered When Meeting Was Not Closed Properly

Re: Mayor and City Council of Town of Rock Hall
Susan A. Francis, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

 

 

9OMCB195

2(A) Notice: Failure to Provide - Violation

3(C) Open Meeting Requirement: Effectively Violated by Failing to Provide Notice

4(A)(2) Closed-Session Practices: Failure to Comply With
Section 3-305(D) - Violation

6(B)(3) Minutes: Failure to Prepare - Violation

7(D) Compliance Board Opinions: Claim that Topic Discussed in Closed Session Fell Within an Exception - Not Considered When Meeting was Not Closed Properly

7(G) Training Requirement: Designation of New Trainee
- Advisable When the Former Designee is No Longer a Member, Officer, or Employee

Re: City of Annapolis "Exploration Committee"
Mary and William Powell, Complainants

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB199

2(E)(3) Notice: Untimely when given only via website that day, absent emergency

6 Minutes: Posting on website, not required

7(C) Compliance Board: No authority to dismiss complaint as untimely

7(C) Compliance Board: No authority to declare that public body "cured" violation in subsequent open meetings

Re: Montgomery County Board of Education
Janis Zink Sartucci, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/appf.pdf

9OMCB203

1(A)(3) Public body: not a "public body" - privately incorporated and controlled entity

Re: Chesapeake Regional Information Systems for Our Patients, Inc.
Craig O'Donnell, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB206

1(C)(2) Administrative function exclusion: applicable to ethics commission's application of law to ethics complaints, following Dyer v. Bd. of Educ., 216 Md. App. 530 (2014)

2(B) Notice contents: permissible to state in website notice that the public should check the website again, within a stated period of time before the meeting date, for confirmation and closed-session information

2(B) Notice contents: permissible to ask members of the public to notify the public body if they wish to attend a meeting, when the public body's usual meeting room is small

2(D)(1) Notice method: additional methods should be used when a method permitted by the Act is probably ineffective by itself

3(B) Open meeting: public body not required to provide documents used in discussion when staff had presented the matter orally

5(A) Closed session procedures: sec. 3-305 procedures not applicable to session closed to perform administrative function

6(B)(2) Minutes: must reflect recorded votes

6(B)(2) Minutes: description of administrative session must list persons present

Re: State Ethics Commission
(Complainants N. Lynn Board, Esq., City of Gaithersburg and Elissa D. Levan, Esq., City of Westminster (consolidated complaints)

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB216

2(a) Notice: Public bodies must give notice of meetings subject to the act

Re: Maryland Council on Open Data - Michele Fluss, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB218

6(b)(3) minutes - Practices in violation - treating minutes request made in person as public information act request

7(b) complaints - No requirement in act that complainant have "standing"

7(b) complaints - Complaint process not to be used as inducement to produce copies of records sooner than required by public information act

7(g) training requirement - Must be met in one of the ways specified in the act

Re: Prince George's County Board of Education - Craig O'Donnell, complainant

*topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB226

6(b)(1) minutes - Act does not govern public body's decision to ask counsel to review draft minutes

6(1)(2) closed session - Summary may be included in either the minutes of that day's open session or the minutes of the next open session

7 compliance board - No authority to address the way in which public bodies post minutes online

Re: Maryland Health Benefit Exchange - Craig O'Donnell, complainant

*topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB230

   1(a)(3)    "Public Body":  definition met neither by individual member nor by employee

   2(e)(2)      Notice:  posting 6-10 days in advance permissible, absent evidence of intentional delay

   6(b)(2)     Minutes:  adoption within 18 days of meeting not untimely

Re:  Morgan State University - Eric White, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf 

9OMCB232

        2(B)  Notice contents:  online posting of agenda not required

        3(A)  Openness requirement:  no requirement in the Act that public be permitted to comment

        6(b)(1) Minutes:  online posting not required; consistency recommended 

Re:  Mayor and Board of Commissioners of Rising Sun - Roger Lamb, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf 

9OMCB234

   1(a)(3) "Public body":   Definition not met by county executive

   1(b)(3) Meeting:  determined not to be a meeting-board members' separate conferences with county executive

   1(c)(3) Administrative function:  outside exclusions  - formulation of recommendations on size of budget

   1(d) Advisory function:  deliberations on budget recommendations

   7(g) Training requirement:  when training was actually taken within the initial deadline, failure to designate trainee not a substantial violation

Re:  Baltimore County Board of Education Ann Miller, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf 

9OMCB239

     1(b)(3)   "Meeting":  Definition not met by site visit con-ducted in groups comprising less than a quorum when groups did not interact

     7(d) Compliance Board opinion:  Insufficient information on whether introduction to site visit was subject to the Act

Re: Wicomico County Council - Phil David, The Daily Times, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf 

9OMCB243

       2(B)    Notice:  Notice of “executive session” insufficient without reference to the initial open session needed for the vote to close

      4(G)   “Legal Advice” exception:  Within the exception, Advice on employment law applicable to personnel policies

Re:  Mayor and Council of Rockville
Ann M. Wallas, Association of Administrative Municipal Employees, Complainants

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf 

9OMCB246

1A(3)    Public Body:  Privately incorporated and privately - controlled entity not a public body

7D  Compliance Board:  Unable to assess whether privately-governed entity is actually operated under  government control

Re:  Garrett County Development Corporation
Michael Bell and others, Complainants

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf 

9OMCB256

2(A) Notice - Generally: Use of standing notices
2(F) Notice - Timing: Posting of notice should not be delayed in order to include agenda
6(1) Minutes: Adoption of written minutes required when video system malfunctioned

Re: Frederick County Historic Preservation Commission
Kimberly Mellon, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB259

1(b) meeting: counsel’s e-mail survey of members about how they had voted in a matter, not a meeting
6(b) minutes: when adoption is delayed because members disagree about one item, adviseable to promptly
Adopt a set for later amendment

Re: Mayor and Common Council of the Town of University Park
Judd O. Nelson and fourteen others, Complainants

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB268

2(a)       Notice:  Failure to provide, violation
6(b)(3)   minutes:  Failure to prepare, violation
6(b)(1)   Minutes:  May be amended to ensure accuracy
7(g)       Training Requirement:  A newly created public body is not required to designate trainee before its first meeting

Re:  Heroin and Opioid Task Force
Michele J. Fluss, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB271

7(b) Compliance Board Opinions: Disputes of fact, not resolved

Re: Town Commission, Town of Barclay
       William E. Wallace, complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB273

2(e)(3) Notice: Meeting on short and inadequate notice, without emergency - violation

3(c) Open Meeting: Requirement violated by conducting discussion in advance of scheduled meeting

7(d) Compliance Board opinions: No opinion issued when board lacks sufficient information

7(e) Compliance Board: Failure to respond, violation

Re: Board of Commissioners, Housing Authority of Prince George’s County
       Sabrina B. Wear, Esq. And Alexa E. Bertinelli, Esq., complainants

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB279

1(a)(3) Public Body: Definition not met by advisory ,committee created by merit system employee who was not subject to county executive's policy direction

Re: Citizens' Advisory Board - Traffic Issues, Montgomery County Police Department
Ronald W. Ely and Thomas Barrett, Complainants

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB283

3 Open Meeting Requirement: Violated when public body reached consensus during recess

Re: Frederick County Board of Appeals
Douglas S. Kaplan, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB290

1(c)(1) administrative exclusion, generally: applicability to personnel matters often unclear

1(c)(2) administrative exclusion: within exclusion, discussion of dismissal of employee

3(c) openness requirement, practices in violation: excluding reporters from meeting open to the public

Re: Mayor and Council of Pocomoke City
Deborah A. Jeon, Complainant, on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland,
Stephen Janis, and The Real News network, (consolidated), Complainants

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB296

1(i)(2) quasi-judicial function exclusion: outside exclusion, discussions whether to grant permit or license

3(a) open meeting requirement generally: public body not required to provide parking

3(b) open meeting requirement: practices permitted, following state’s security procedures for admission to public building

In notice, asking members of public who wish to attend to contact the public body in advance, so adequate seating can be provided

Re: Handgun Permit Review Board
Byron C. Black, Esq., on behalf of Daniel J. Carlin-Weber, and Brook Powers, Complainants (consolidated complaints) 

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB302

1(3) public body: determined not to be, agency employees with members of the public in an informal settlement conference

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Carl Kirk, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB304

7(g) Training Requirement: Way in which public body complies, within its discretion

7(a) Compliance Board's Complaint Process: should not be used for conduct the board has already addressed

Re: Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force
       Michele J. Fluss, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the opinions index (2014 edition) at
http://www.oag.state.md.us/opengov/openmeetings/omcb_topical_index.pdf

9OMCB307

1(b)(1) Meeting, Generally: Absent controlling law on the calculation of a quorum, common law principles apply

1(b)(2) Meeting: consideration of public business by a Quorum – a majority of public body’s voting members
Absent law to the contrary

7(e)     Compliance Board: Response procedures, generally

Re: Montgomery County Board of Elections
       Paul M. Bessel, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf

9OMCB314

1(3)Public Body: Definition not met - committee appointed by university president, when only one member was member of the public

Re: University of Maryland College Park Facilities Naming Committee
Colin Byrd, Complainant

*Topic numbers and headings correspond to those in the Opinions Index (2014 edition) at http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/OMCB_Topical_Index.pdf 

 

 

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