New England coalition supports Massachusetts bills to keep remote access to public meetings

The New England First Amendment Coalition testified June 2, 2021, in support of Massachusetts legislation that would preserve the ability of people to attend public meetings either remotely or in-person. “The legislation will make permanent one of the few silver linings of the ongoing pandemic: remote access to public meetings and the increased engagement between…


MA: Council’s recess raises Open Meeting Law questions

LAWRENCE – Visibly exasperated and maybe a little embarrassed by the disarray that unfolded as they failed in three votes Tuesday to approve, reject or even just table a proposal to sell two downtown properties to a developer, the city councilors agreed to recess for a few minutes. Most left the council chambers and went…


AG rules for Lincoln-Sudbury that certain performance evaluations are not subject to disclosure

SUDBURY – The state Attorney General’s office has ruled that performance evaluations of top public officials prepared by individual members of an elected board are not necessarily subject to disclosure under the state’s Open Meeting Law. The ruling issued Monday clarifies a section of the AG’s own guide to the state law that seemed to…


Massachusetts AG to host forums on state’s open meeting law

Anyone interested in learning more about Massachusetts' open meeting law is being encouraged to attend one of a series of educational forums hosted by state Attorney General Maura Healey.

The forums are part of a larger effort by her office to help the public and local officials better understand and comply with the law, Healey said. Continue…



Sturbridge selectmen found in violation of Open Meeting Law

From Telegram: STURBRIDGE — Selectmen in April violated the state’s Open Meeting Law when they met in an executive session and eliminated a position in the Fire Department.

Hanne Rush, assistant attorney general in the Division of Open Government in the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, ruled that the board’s decision to discuss and then vote to eliminate an assistant to the fire chief position was illegal.

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Mass. Attorney General’s Office declines to investigate Open Meeting Law complaint against Palmer Redevelopment Authority

From PALMER – The Attorney General’s Office has declined to investigate an Open Meeting Law complaint against the Palmer Redevelopment Authority lodged by Paul E. Burns regarding what he said were violations of requirements for quorums and for posting meetings, as well as the use of remote participation when it had not been formally adopted.


Mass. AG to host forums on Open Meeting Law

From The Boston Globe: BOSTON (AP) — The state Attorney General’s Office will hold three educational forums on the Open Meeting Law throughout the state next month.

The forums are part of an effort by Attorney General Martha Coakley to help public boards understand and comply with the requirements of the law. State, local, regional and county public boards are required to comply with the law.


Who’s counting? Boston Globe probe raises doubts on public meeting quorums

From Boston Globe staff reporter Todd Wallack via NEFAC: While writing a story recently about the Massachusetts state pharmacy board, I noticed something odd: Only half the board members showed up for a meeting last summer — too few for a quorum — but the board members went ahead with the meeting anyway and voted on one item after the next.

It turns out it was part of a much wider problem, raising questions about how frequently obscure boards comply with all the rules for public meetings throughout New England.


NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for May 10, 2013

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.


Attorney General issues informal opinion on Iowa Public Radio questions