From: Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 10:27 AM
Subject: Executive Committee
Attachments: o3989.wpd; o3926.wpd
This to confirm the advice offered during our conversations that the Executive Committee to which you referred constitutes a “public body” required to comply with the Open Meetings Law.
As indicated in the attached opinions previously rendered, the legislative history of that statute clearly indicates that a committee or subcommittee consisting solely of members of a governing body is itself a public body. Further, even though there may be no specific reference to a quorum, §41 of the General Construction Law has for more than a century imposed quorum requirements on any entity that carries out a governmental duty that consists of three or more members. In brief, based on §41, a quorum is a majority of the total membership of a public body, notwithstanding absences or vacancies. If, for example, a community board consists of 51 members, its quorum would be 26. If a committee of a community board consists of 7, its quorum would be 4, and a gathering of 4 or more members of the committee in their capacities as committee members would constitute a meeting of the committee.
In the event that the attached opinions cannot be opened, they will be sent to you separately as well.
I hope that I have been of assistance.
Robert J. Freeman
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231