- Guide to Bodies Subject to Public Meetings Law
- Public Meetings Checklist
- Sample Meeting Notices
- Checklist for Executive Session
- Sample Script to Announce Start of Executive Session
- Sample Public Meetings Minutes
Guide to Bodies Subject to Public Meetings Law
This is a simplified guide to understanding when the meetings of a particular body are subject to the Public Meetings Law. For a discussion of the various elements, refer to the text of this manual.
Public Meetings Checklist
The Public Meetings Law applies to all meetings of a quorum of a governing body of a public body for which a quorum is required to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision on any matter, and to any deliberations between a quorum of the governing body. This checklist is intended to assist governing bodies in complying with the provisions of the law; however, you should consult the appropriate section(s) of this manual for a complete description of the law’s requirements.
□ OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Unless an executive session is authorized by statute, the meeting must be open to the public.
□ NOTICE. The governing body must notify the public of the time and place of the meeting, as well as the principal subject to be discussed. Notice should be sent to:
□ News media;
□ Mailing lists; and
□ Other interested persons.
The notice for a regular meeting must be reasonably calculated to give “actual” notice of the meeting’s time and place. Special meetings require at least 24-hours’ notice. Emergency meetings may be called on less than 24-hours’ notice, but the minutes must describe the emergency justifying less than 24-hours’ notice.
□ SPACE AND LOCATION
□ Space. The governing body should consider the probable public attendance and should meet where there is sufficient room for that expected attendance.
□ Geographic location. Meetings must be held within the geographic boundaries over which the public body has jurisdiction, at its administrative headquarters, at the nearest practical location, or—for state, county, or city entities—within Indian county of a federally recognized Oregon Indian tribe that is within the boundaries of the state.
□ Nondiscriminatory site. The governing body may not meet at a place where discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disability is practiced.
□ Smoking is prohibited.
□ ACCESSIBILITY TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
□ Accessibility. Meetings must be held in places accessible to individuals with mobility and other impairments.
□ Interpreters. The governing body must make a good faith effort to provide an interpreter for hearing-impaired persons.
□ Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The governing body should familiarize itself with the ADA, which may impose requirements beyond state law.
□ VOTING. All official actions by governing bodies must be taken by public vote. Secret ballots are prohibited.
□ MINUTES and RECORDKEEPING. Written minutes or a sound, video, or digital recording must be taken at all meetings, including at executive sessions. The minutes or recording must include at least the following:
□ Members present;
□ Motions, proposals, resolutions, orders, ordinances, and measures proposed and their disposition;
□ Results of all votes and, except for bodies with more than 25 members unless requested by a member, the vote of each member by name;
□ The substance of any discussion on any matter; and
□ A reference to any document discussed at the meeting. (Reference to a document exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Law does not affect its exempt status.)
The minutes or recording must be available to the public within a “reasonable time after the meeting.”
Sample Meeting Notices
Notice of [Regular, Special or Emergency] Meeting
The Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission will hold a (regular/special/emergency) meeting at 9:00 a.m. at the Netarts Community Hall, 10 Ocean Avenue, Netarts, Oregon, on October 4, 1987.
[A copy of the agenda of the meeting is attached.]
― or ―
[The meeting will cover extension of commercial takes of Dungeness crabs, and a proposed limitation on sports crabbing in Neahkahnie Bay.]
The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting to (name and telephone/TTY number) .
Notice of Executive Session
The Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission will hold an executive session at 9:00 a.m. at the Netarts Community Hall, 10 Ocean Avenue, Netarts, Oregon, on October 4, 1987. The session will consider an applicant for the position of Assistant Marine Biologist. The executive session is being held pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(a).
NOTE: Meeting notices are not required to be signed by an officer or employee. A notice mailed or delivered will be sufficient. It must be mailed or delivered to any news medium that has requested notice and, so far as possible, to any other persons who have requested notice or who are known to be interested. Notification of the general public is also necessary, and a notice merely posted on a bulletin board is ordinarily not sufficient. Such posting and notification to appropriate newspapers, radio stations, and wire services is appropriate. It is not necessary to use paid notices. Notice by telephone or fax is advisable for emergency meetings.
Checklist for Executive Session
This checklist is intended to assist governing bodies in complying with the executive session provisions of the Public Meetings Law; however, you should consult the appropriate section(s) of this manual for a complete description of the requirements.
□ Provide notice of an executive session in the same manner you give notice of a public meeting. The notice must cite to the specific statutory provision(s) authorizing the executive session.
□ Announce that you are going into executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660 and cite the specific reason(s) and statute(s) that authorize the executive session for each subject to be discussed. See sample script at K-9. (You may hold a public session even if an executive session is authorized.)
□ If you intend to come out of executive session to take final action, announce when the open session will begin again.
□ Specify if any individuals other than the news media may remain.
□ Tell the media what may not be disclosed from the executive session. If you fail to do this, the media may report everything. If you discuss matters other than what you announce you are going to discuss in the executive session, the media may report those additional matters.
□ A member of the news media must be excluded from executive sessions held to discuss litigation with legal counsel if he or she is a party to the litigation or is an employee, agent, or contractor of a news media organization that is a party.
□ Come back into open session to take final action. If you did not specify at the time you went into executive session when you would return to open session, and the executive session has been very short, you may open the door and announce that you are back in open session. If you unexpectedly come back into open session after previously announcing you would not be doing so, you must use reasonable measures to give actual notice to interested persons that you are back in open session. This may require postponing final action until another meeting.
□ Keep minutes or a sound, video, or digital recording of executive sessions.
Sample Script to Announce Start of Executive Session
The [governing body] will now meet in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(__) [choose appropriate section(s) for this session], which allows the Commission to meet in executive session to __[list activity(ies)]_______________.
Note: The governing body may choose to allow other specified persons to attend the executive session. See Barker v. City of Portland, 67 Or App 23 (1984).
Representatives of the news media and designated staff shall be allowed to attend the executive session. All other members of the audience are asked to leave the room. Representatives of the news media are specifically directed not to report on or otherwise disclose any of the deliberations or anything said about these subjects during the executive session, except to state the general subject of the session as previously announced. No decision may be made in executive session. At the end of the executive session, we will return to open session and welcome the audience back into the room.
Sample Public Meetings Minutes
Oregon State Dungeness Crab Commission
Regular (Special or Emergency) Meeting October 4, 1987
Pursuant to notice made by press release to newspapers of general and local circulation throughout the state and mailed to persons on the mailing list of the Commission and the members of the Commission, a (regular /special/emergency) meeting of the Dungeness Crab Commission was held at the community hall in Netarts, Oregon.
Present were Chairman Abel Adams, and Commissioners Bertha Bales, Charles Carter and Donald David, the entire membership of the Commission. The executive secretary of the Commission, Elmer Eaton, presented the Commission’s agenda as follows:
(1) Request to amend commercial limits of daily take of Dungeness crab from the estuaries and ocean waters of the State of Oregon.
(2) Report of marine biologist Franklin on the effect of recent micro-organic growths in Siletz Bay on crab population.
(3) Request to consider portions of Neahkahnie Bay off limits for sports crabbing.
Testimony on the commercial limits was received from George Grant representing commercial crabbing industry for an increase and Howard Hawes representing sportsmen.
After discussion, Commissioner David moved that the Commission give notice that it intended to amend the commercial daily limits by a 10 percent increase and that a public hearing be held to receive information, data, and views of interested persons. Voting for the motion: Commissioners Bales, David and Chairman Adams; against: Commissioner Carter. The motion having carried, the executive secretary was directed to prepare a notice of intention to amend a rule and have it published in the Secretary of State’s Administrative Bulletin and to notify the press and the Commission’s mailing list.
Marine Biologist Franklin reported that micro-organic growths have caused a 20 percent decrease in the crab population of Siletz Bay. Research at the Oregon State University Marine Biology Center indicates that it may be possible to develop an ecologically sound strain of micro-organism to combat the harmful growth. Commissioner Bales questioned Franklin as to the effects on the balance of life in the Siletz estuary. Franklin indicated that no sure prediction could be given at this time. Commissioner Bales moved that Franklin consult with the Department of Environmental Quality and report back at the next regular meeting of the Commission. The motion was carried unanimously.
A request to declare portions of Neahkahnie Bay off limits for sports crabbing was presented to the Commission. Supporting the request was George Grant representing the commercial crabbing industry. Mr. Grant testified that the extended take of sportsmen was decreasing the potential take of the commercial take. He indicated that the area was an excellent breeding ground and sportsmen were disturbing the young crabs, thereby endangering the population.
Opposing the request were Irving Instant, a marina operator on Neahkahnie Bay, and a representative of the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce, John Jackson, who disputed Mr. Grant’s testimony. The Commission considered a written report prepared by the Department of Environmental Quality titled “The Effect of Sports Crabbing on Crab Populations,” and dated June 15, 1987. Commissioner David moved that Mr. Franklin investigate the claim and report back to the Commission at its next regular session. The motion was carried unanimously.
The agenda matters having been dealt with, the Chairman stated that an application for the available position of Assistant Marine Biologist to the Commission had been received. The Chairman then directed that the Commission go into executive session to consider the employment application. The Chairman identified ORS 192.660(2)(a) as authority for the executive session. Kenneth King, reporter for the Associated Press, requested to be present at the executive session.
At the conclusion of the executive session, there being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
s/ Elmer Eaton
Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission
October 4, 1987