December 15, 2006
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 facts presented in your correspondence.
I have received your letter in which you asked that I confirm in writing a response offered in a recent telephone conversation. Specifically, the question is: “When a motion is made but does not receive a second, do you have to record that motion as part of the official meeting minutes.”
In my view, due to the language of §106(1) of the Open Meetings Law, which provides direction concerning the content of minutes of open meetings, reference to a motion, whether seconded, approved or otherwise, must be included in minutes. The cited provision states that:
“Minutes shall be taken at all open meetings of a public body which shall consist of a record or summary of all motions, proposals, resolutions and any other matter formally voted upon the vote thereon.”
Based on the foregoing, even if a motion is defeated or, as in the situation that you described, is not seconded, I believe that the law requires that it be referenced in minutes.
I hope that I have been of assistance. Should any further questions arise, please feel free to contact me.