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Monday, May 12, 2014

PAC Finds in Favor of Public Body in 3rd Binding Opinion of 2014

In its third binding opinion for 2014, the PAC ruled in favor of the public body.

In PAC Op. 14-003, issued on May 5, 2014, the PAC determined that the St. Clair Township Board did not violate the Open Meetings Act when it amended its agenda less than 48 hours prior to the Board meeting.  The Board had posted its agenda for a regular Board meeting at least 48 hours before the meeting; however, the Board posted an amended agenda on the same day of the Board meeting.  The amended agenda relocated two agenda items relating to a collective bargaining agreement and personnel matters to place the items under executive session, but for discussion only.  A complaint was filed alleging that the amendment of the agenda to add these  "new" agenda items violated the OMA requirement that agendas be posted at least 48 hours before the meeting.  The PAC disagreed, finding in favor of the Township Board. Specifically, the PAC found that a public body is under no obligation to take final action on a matter listed on the agenda because the agenda is an "informational guideline of what the public body anticipates considering at a meeting."  Moreover, a public body is not obligated to formally amend an agenda to delete items it no longer will take action on - in this case, the Township's decision to post an amended agenda actually provided greater transparency for members of the public.

Post Authored By Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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