A public body’s special meeting 26 miles from its regular meeting location was found to violate the OMA requirement that such meetings must be convenient and open to the public. A meeting can be open to the public but still inconvenient if “the public, as a practical matter, would be deterred from attending it.” Here, the meeting was held outside of the district, 26 miles from its regular location, and at 9:00AM on a weekday as opposed to the usual 7:00PM. In addition, the public body did not claim that the meeting could not have been held at a suitable facility in the district. While the public body met other procedural OMA requirements and no action was taken at the meeting, the meeting was still found to violate OMA.
Brennan McLoughlin, IASB Law Clerk