Thursday, November 12, 2009

Town Board & BOE Agenda Setting Meetings ...

  
Where Do They Happen?
When Do They Happen?
Does A Quorum of the Board Usually Attend?
Are these Meetings Posted?
Where Are They Posted?

SCATS ~~ I'm asking these questions in response to John Auberger's insistence during a recent forum that the Town Board members "do their homework" for Town Board meetings during Agenda Setting Meetings. If these meetings are attended by a quorum of the board, then they should be OPEN MEETINGS. In that case, these meeting times & days should be POSTED prior to the meeting. The same rules apply to the Board of Education.
  

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know that in other towns some residents have attended the pre- meeting agenda sessions of town boards. I'm pretty sure you have the legal right to attend. I don't know if they have any right to speak however and the scheduling often makes it difficult for people to attend.

I don't believe however that minutes are taken.

The more pressing question is why business is being carried out behind closed doors.

It's still not public

Anonymous said...

You need to file a complaint here:

http://www.dos.state.ny.us/coog/openmeetlaw.html

We should ALL file a complaint.

Anonymous said...

Greece school board has had the board officers prez and vp meet to set the agenda with the superintendent and one lucky board member different each month. This is not a standing committee and is not a quorum of the board. So it doesn't have to be posted and open. Although if it takes place in a public building and it is not executive session material the public can attend if they happen to know when and where it is. Of course that's the problem it doesn't need to be posted. They used to have these meetings out at restaurants.
There are board subcommittees that have standing memberships (transportation, finance etc )and as such have a quorum which is one more than half the membership. But the board discovered that if they change these subcommittees to community committees that for some reason the meetings of those committees are not forced to post and be open. Again if they are held in a public place they have to allow the public to be there and not necessarily participate. Maybe if you talked at one of these meetings you could be arrested in Greece. Again the law does not forbid the public from attending or the board from posting.
And the documents that are generated from any of these meetings are open to the Freedom of Information Law and can be requested from the board clerk.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, you want to attend agenda setting sessions?! You people need to get a grip AND a life.
If you have no right to speak and, therefore, can't influence what makes it to the agenda then just go to the dang meeting and pick one up!
What the heck is going on with all of you?
By the way, executive sessions are allowable under the open meetings law. Votes, however, need to occur in public. Unless you find evidence that that is not happening, your complaint will likely find its way into the circular file.

Anonymous said...

Just the presence of the public at these meetings will keep the kiddies in line!

SCATS said...

To 1:19PM ~~ Thank you for the link. You're right, we should ALL file complaints.

To 1:57PM ~~ Thank you for the detailed explanation. Wouldn't it be wonderful if instead of attempting to stay just barely within the laws on such things, our governing bodies went above and beyond the requirements? OK, enough fantasizing ...

To 2:17PM ~~ Agenda setting sessions are the EXCUSE Auberger used for having his scripted 10 minute short Town Board meetings. He claimed they ALL "do their homework" during the agenda setting meetings. In other words, if you want to actually learn anything, you need to go to watch these meetings, because you won't learn a thing at a Town Board meeting.

Yes, executive sessions are allowed. However, they aren't supposed to be pre-planned the way the BOE does them. The intent of the law is that A MOTION TO GO TO EXEC. SESSION IS MADE during an already in progress Open Meeting. The need for the closed door portion is cited. A vote of the BOE is taken. Assuming a majority agrees, they can close the doors to discuss ONLY the item/s specified.

Telling the community a week in advance that they plan to have an Exec. Session to discuss contracts is NOT following the intent of the law.

If you don't like people's interest in their govt, you don't have to waste your time reading this 2:17PM. If the complaints upset you, then take them to the folks who aren't following the laws. The messengers have every right to comment and complain. I vow to continue to bring such issues up.

Anonymous said...

Caterino should attend and tape them.

Anonymous said...

They're all afraid a little knowledge could be a powerful thing.

Charlie Hubbard said...

I can't speak to the postings as I had little control over that.
What I can tell you is every agenda meeting I was involved in the door was OPEN - I had nothing to hide - if someone wanted the door closed the meeting went on without me.
We did have one ex session where the topic was cable 12. Even the 2 lawyers involved thought it ok for this subject to be in ex session - when asked to put that in writting the reason was that would be inconvienient - so I left.

It only takes a little common sence, a touch of integrity and never forgeting you are doing the 'peoples' business.