From: Robert Freeman
Date: 1/21/2005 3:53:36 PM
I am in general agreement with your understanding of the use of email in relation to the Open Meetings Law.
In one area of your commentary, however, you referred to holding "an 'eMeeting' in a chat room if [you] gave public notice according to the OML...." From my perspective, even with public notice, that kind of communication would be inconsistent with the Open Meetings Law. As you may be aware, the statement of legislative intent appearing at the beginning of the law refers to the public's right to "observe" the performance of public officials. That right would not exist in the hypothetical situation that you described.
It is suggested that you might review opinions on our website pertaining to "email meetings" and "telephone voting."
I hope that I have been of assistance.
Robert J. Freeman
NYS Committee on Open Government
41 State Street
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 474-2518 - Phone
(518) 474-1927 - Fax
Website - www.dos.ny.gov/coog/coogwww.html