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Judge Damon J. Keith nmfog.org. In recognition of the fact that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to.

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Presentation on theme: "Judge Damon J. Keith nmfog.org. In recognition of the fact that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Judge Damon J. Keith nmfog.org

2 In recognition of the fact that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to be public policy of this state that all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those officers and employees who represent them.

3 No secret meetings. No secret votes. Action items must be on your agenda. Action must be taken in open session.

4 1. Adopt your OMA resolution, annually. 2. Decide to hold a meeting. 3. Provide public notice. 4. Issue final agenda no later than 24 hours prior. 5. Hold the meeting. a. Let anyone attend. b. Follow procedures to close, if necessary. c. Take action only on agenda items. 6. Produce draft minutes within 10 days. 7. Approve minutes at your next meeting.

5 Must be adopted annually, in a public meeting Determines what notice for a public meeting is reasonable when applied to that body. Becomes binding upon adoption If you already know when your regular meetings will be, you may include that information in the resolution to provide maximum advance notice.

6 1. Adopt your OMA resolution, annually. 2. Decide to hold a meeting. 3. Provide public notice. 4. Issue final agenda no later than 24 hours prior. 5. Hold the meeting. a. Let anyone attend. b. Follow procedures to close, if necessary. c. Take action only on agenda items. 6. Produce draft minutes within 10 days. 7. Approve minutes at your next meeting.

7 YES, if a quorum is… Formulating policy OR Discussing public business OR Taking action

8 Whatever you call it … Work session Retreat Pre-meeting Brainstorming session Study session …its still a meeting! You must follow OMA.

9 Were at the same social function?

10 Dont talk business! Its okay for a quorum to be in the same place, but you must not formulate policy, discuss public business or take action. (Unless youre prepared to comply with OMA requirements.) Some boards provide notice that a quorum of the board is planning to attend a function, but will not be discussing any public business.

11 Were at the same social function? Dont talk business! Its okay for a quorum to be in the same place, but you must not formulate policy, discuss public business or take action. (Unless youre prepared to comply with OMA requirements.) Some boards provide notice that a quorum of the board is planning to attend a function, but will not be discussing any public business. Tip! Be sensitive to appearances. If youre huddled in a corner together, people will assume the worst.

12 We need to schedule a meeting? We need to put together the agenda?

13 We need to schedule a meeting? We need to put together the agenda? Rely on your staff. Administrators should be responsible for communicating with Board members to schedule special or emergency meetings and to assemble the agenda. Individual Board members may communicate with staff, and staff may send information out to all Board members. The OMA targets discussions among a quorum of the Board.

14 We need to schedule a meeting? We need to put together the agenda? TIP! Beware of reply all when using . A discussion over is still a discussion.

15 STAFF Parents Students Teachers Neighbors Sports Fans Community Leaders Non-Profits PED Legislators

16 Were traveling together or attending a conference?

17 Dont talk business! Its the same as a social setting. If you will be discussing your schools business among a quorum, follow OMA. When in doubt, just follow it! Receiving information doesnt trigger the law, but discussion among a quorum does.

18 We need to discuss sensitive issues?

19 There are provisions for that in OMA. Closed meetings of sensitive topics must still be noticed to the public. No secret meetings!

20 1. Adopt your OMA resolution, annually. 2. Decide to hold a meeting. 3. Provide public notice. 4. Issue final agenda no later than 24 hours prior. 5. Hold the meeting. a. Let anyone attend. b. Follow procedures to close, if necessary. c. Take action only on agenda items. 6. Produce draft minutes within 10 days. 7. Approve minutes at your next meeting.

21 Meetings shall be held only after reasonable notice to the public Your annual OMA resolution defines what is reasonable for your board AG Guidance: Regular meeting 10 days Special meeting 3 days Emergency meeting 24 hours

22 Your notice must include: 1. Date, time and place of the meeting 2. An agenda, or information on how the public may obtain a copy of the agenda Your notice must be delivered to: 1. Location(s) accessible to the public List these in your OMA resolution 2. Any broadcast station or newspaper that has provided a written request for notice

23 Notice of Public Hearings In some situations, a formal public hearing will be required. The requirements go above and beyond regular OMA rules. Notice of public hearings generally must be published in a newspaper via legal notice. NMSA has procedures for legal notices. Various state laws govern when a public hearing is required. Check with your attorney!

24 Holding a discussion via phone or . rolling quorum Posting notice behind closed doors. Posting notice after the deadline.

25 1. Adopt your OMA resolution, annually. 2. Decide to hold a meeting. 3. Provide public notice. 4. Issue final agenda no later than 24 hours prior. 5. Hold the meeting. a. Let anyone attend. b. Follow procedures to close, if necessary. c. Take action only on agenda items. 6. Produce draft minutes within 10 days. 7. Approve minutes at your next meeting.

26 Available to public 24 hours in advance Contains specific items to be discussed or transacted Need to take action? Make sure its on the agenda in specific terms On-the-fly additions should be short, informational (avoid discussion) Final Agenda

27 Non-specific items! Adding last-minute emergency items. Taking action on either of the above.

28 1. Adopt your OMA resolution, annually. 2. Decide to hold a meeting. 3. Provide public notice. 4. Issue final agenda no later than 24 hours prior. 5. Hold the meeting. a. Let anyone attend. b. Follow procedures to close, if necessary. c. Take action only on agenda items. 6. Produce draft minutes within 10 days. 7. Approve minutes at your next meeting.

29 School employees have the same right to attend as anyone else You must make reasonable efforts to accommodate audio & video recording Consider whether the room will accommodate all people who want to attend, and whether they will be able to hear. Dont start early!

30 Theory = some discussions would harm the public interest if held in the open The legislature has identified 10 topics where this is the case You are not authorized to add an 11th

31 Limited personnel matters YES Hiring, promotion, demotion of an individual employee Dismissal, assignment, resignation of an individual employee Consideration of complaints/charges against an individual employee NO Overall pay raises/cuts Changes to employee benefits generally Department restructuring Removal/selection of a Board Member

32 Discussions regarding issuance, suspension, renewal or revocation of a license. Deliberations in connection with a trial-type legal hearing Discussion of personally identifiable student information Meetings for preliminary collective-bargaining strategy and bargaining sessions with union representatives Sole-source purchases over $2,500, and discussion of competitive sealed proposals

33 attorney-client privileged discussions pertaining to threatened or pending litigation YES Receiving or soliciting advice from your attorney when there is a pending lawsuit or an actual, credible threat of one. NO Discussing a controversy that may result in litigation Receiving advice from your attorney on non-litigation matters Discussing litigation among yourselves (no attorney present)

34 Discussion of purchase, acquisition or disposal of real property or water rights YES Buying land for a playground Leasing water rights NO Buying playground equipment Leasing copiers

35 Executive session is for discussion only. Final action must be taken in public. No secret votes!

36

37 Always tell the public: A. The exemption in OMA that allows closure, AND B. The specific subject of your discussion. Two Methods! If the entire meeting is closed, include this information in your public notice. If closing an open meeting, include this information on your agenda and in the motion to close.

38 Authority NMSA H(7), threatened or pending litigation NMSA H(2), limited personnel matters Subject D-117-CV , Romero v. Board of Trustees of McCurdy Performance evaluation of the superintendent Hiring, promotion, demotion, dismissal assignment or resignation

39 Take a roll-call vote on the motion to close. Either leave, or kick everyone out. Discuss. You do not need to keep minutes. You may invite others into executive session with you.

40 When you re-enter open session, or at your next open meeting, read the following statement into the record: The matters discussed in the closed meeting were limited only to those specified in the [motion to close/notice of the closed meeting]. This is a promise to the public that you obeyed the law. Its the only assurance we have.

41 Taking action in closed session. Expanding the exemptions to discuss sensitive or controversial topics behind closed doors. Failing to cite both the legal authority AND the subject to be discussed. Saying no action was taken instead of only XYZ was discussed.

42 1. Adopt your OMA resolution, annually. 2. Decide to hold a meeting. 3. Provide public notice. 4. Issue final agenda no later than 24 hours prior. 5. Hold the meeting. a. Let anyone attend. b. Follow procedures to close, if necessary. c. Take action only on agenda items. 6. Produce draft minutes within 10 days. 7. Approve minutes at your next meeting.

43 Must include: Date, time, place of the meeting Names of those present & absent Substance of proposals considered Any decisions and votes w/ record of how each member voted. All minutes are open to inspection.

44 Failing to record whos present/absent. Failing to record how members voted. Forgetting to approve minutes at next meeting.

45 Actions taken at a non-complying meeting are invalid The Attorney General, District Attorney or a private individual may file a civil suit. Violating the Act is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to $500 for each offense.

46 No secret meetings. No secret votes. Watch those action items!

47 NMFOG.ORG (505) (888)


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