Anyone has the right to attend meetings of a public entity, regardless of where they live.
- All meetings of a public entity are open, unless a specific law authorizes the entity to close a portion of the meeting or to hold an executive session.
“Meeting” means any gathering of a quorum of the members of a governing body of a public entity regarding public business. It includes committees, sub-committees, informal gatherings, fact-finding, work sessions, and also discussions where a quorum of members are participating by phone or other electronic format either at the same time or in a series of individual contacts.
- Emails or text messages between members of a committee or subcommittee regarding public business may constitute a meeting and violate open meeting laws.
- If a governing body delegates any authority or assigns a task or portfolio to two or more people, it has created a committee which is subject to open records and meetings law, even if the committee does not have decision-making authority.
Training seminars and purely social gatherings attended by a quorum of a public entity are not meetings, however, as soon as the members discuss any public business, it becomes a “meeting.”