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FOIL-AO-5062

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From: dos.sm.Coog.InetCoog
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2011 10:10 AM
Subject:    RE: Open Meetings Law

 

Although the Open Meetings Law does not specify when meetings of public bodies may be held, it has been advised in numerous contexts that every law, including that statute, should be implemented in a manner that gives reasonable effect to its intent. 

In my view, the intent of the Open Meetings Law involves the reasonable ability of members of the public, those interested in attending meetings of public bodies, to do so. From my perspective, in consideration of a variety of factors, conducting a meeting at 8:30 on a Sunday morning would be unreasonable, for many who might be interested in attending may not have a reasonable opportunity or capacity to do so.  This is not to suggest that meetings cannot be held on weekends or holidays, for a meeting might validly be held during the afternoon, at a more convenient time. Rather, absent an emergency or special circumstance, it is suggested that it would be unreasonable to schedule a meeting early on a Sunday morning.

Please feel free to share this opinion with the Board of Trustees.

I hope that I have been of assistance.

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
Suite 650
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Phone:  (518)474-2518
Fax: (518)474-1927
Website: www.dos.ny.gov/coog/index/html