February 21, 2003
FROM: Robert J. Freeman, Executive Director
The staff of the Committee on Open Government is authorized to issue advisory opinions. The
ensuing staff advisory opinion is based solely upon the information presented in your
As you are aware, I have received your letter of February 5. When an entity subject to the
Open Meetings Law conducts a meeting "at the office of a former board member who works for a brokerage firm," you asked whether it is "sufficient to just give the address in the press release as 40 ZZ St. ANYTOWN, when the brokerage office is located in a large office building with many other businesses, none of which have a connection to the [entity] and neither does the office building have any central reception or information office at which an individual might inquire about the meeting location within the building."
In this regard, §104 of the Open Meetings Law requires that every meeting of a public body be preceded by notice of the time and place given to the news media and posted in one or more designated, conspicuous public locations. Although the phrase "time and place" is not specifically defined, I believe that every provision of law, including the Open Meetings Law, must be implemented in a manner that gives reasonable effect to its intent. In the context of your inquiry, a basic requirement of the Open Meetings Law involves the public's right to know when and where public bodies hold their meetings. That being so, to carry out the notice requirements reasonably, a notice concerning the meeting to which you referred must in my view include sufficient detail to enable those interested in attending to locate the area within the building where the meeting will be held. That might involve an indication of a floor, a room number, or perhaps a company name, for example. In addition or perhaps in the alternative, a notice might be conspicuously posted in the lobby of the building providing the detailed information needed by the public to locate the site of the meeting.
I hope that I have been of assistance.