National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

COVID-19 alters government transparency rules

WEST MICHIGAN — Public meetings — and public access to those meetings — look a little bit different in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In the greater Holland area, township trustees are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance together over the phone and logging on to video calls to take votes on water utility deals for their residents. City and township leaders are weighing these new meeting options and guidance from the state, which has authorized these virtual public meetings, as many make the transition to new forums for their decision-making bodies.

It’s new territory for government officials, who are weighing the benefits of meeting in person against the risks while having to factor in how they can include the public, whichever direction they take. Read more…