SPECIAL MEETINGS HAVE ADDITIONAL PUBLIC NOTICE REQUIREMENTS

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July 19, 2019


Request:  Did the City of Surrey violate the open meetings law by failing to post notice of committee meetings and by conducting a meeting that could not be heard by members of the public?

Conclusion: The City of Surrey appointed a committee which held four special meetings in March before reporting its findings to the full council at a regular meeting in April. The council then appointed a new committee to implement the findings, which committee held two special meetings in May before reporting to the full council at its regular meeting in June. Although the committees posted notice at the principal office, city auditor, and meeting location, they did not provide notice to the official newspaper, and the committee failed to provide any notice for one of the May special meetings, in violation of the law.

However, the city explained that there was no attempt to speak quietly or exclude the public from the committee meetings, it had turned off the ventilation system so that it would not interfere with the ability to hear during the meeting, and there were no requests to speak louder. The city did not violate the law.

Opinion 2019-O-16

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