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OML-AO-4348


From:               Camille JobinDavis

To: 

Date:                 3/16/2007 3:11:30 PM

Subject:            Open Meetings Law - charter school




Below is a link to an advisory opinion with respect to requiring meeting attendees to sign in and wear an identification tag in order to enter a building at which a public meeting is held. It talks about why the rule was adopted and how it applies to everyone entering the building.


http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/otext/3527.htm


Where the rule requires 24-hour advance identification of who will attend the meeting, and it is a rule adopted by the Charter School Board, I would suspect that the rule is not reasonable. The following is a link to an advisory opinion concerning the ability of an agency to adopt reasonable rules:


http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/otext/o3364.htm


Finally, and this is copied from one of our advisory opinions with respect to requiring people to identify themselves before speaking at a meeting:


Factual situations have been brought to the attention of this office that demonstrate that it may be inappropriate or even dangerous for a speaker to identify himself or herself. Battered women and victims of violence may want to express their views, but, if, for example, they are attempting to protect themselves from abusers or attackers, providing their names and especially their addresses could endanger their lives or safety. In a different context, parents of students may want to express their opinions before a board of education without identifying themselves, for doing so would identify their children, perhaps to their detriment. In short, I believe that there may be valid, justifiable reasons for speakers not identifying themselves or having their names and/or addresses included in minutes of meetings.


I hope these are helpful to you - and that you are enjoying the snow!


Camille


Camille S. Jobin-Davis, Esq.
Assistant Director
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