Transparency and Open Meeting Law

The CCHS Building Committee is committed to transparency in the conduct of its work, while also complying with the State’s Open Meeting Law. The CCHS Building Committee, like the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee, is a “Public Body” under the law. As such, we have some very specific rules we must follow:

 

  • We post our meetings and agendas in the community with at least 48 hours notice.
  • Our sessions require a quorum of 12 members to be present to constitute a meeting and we must have a quorum to deliberate and vote on committee business.
  • Agendas, supporting information for an upcoming meeting, draft minutes, reports and other factual information may be distributed electronically to Committee members prior to or between meetings.
  • Committee members may not deliberate, share opinions or discuss committee matters either in person or electronically (by email, forum or chat board) with other committee members outside of an official Open Meeting.
  • Factual information and correspondence about the CCHS building project may be shared with the public in the form of press releases, or on the Committee’s website. While new information may be shared with the public prior to a meeting, Committee members must avoid having any discussion or deliberation about this new information outside of a posted meeting.
  • Following a meeting, Committee members are free to share with the public information or opinions that were expressed in the open meeting—i.e., report on something that was already discussed in an open session.

Consistent with the law, the CCHS Building Committee posts its meeting minutes on its website. We also post all our meeting presentations and reports in a timely fashion. We are committed to keeping the public informed about the Committee’s progress and activities.

These are the rules that the Building Committee must follow relative to information on the CCHS Building Project. Legislators, the media, including the Concord Journal, the Carlisle Mosquito, the Concord Patch, and citizens in general, could very well be privy to information about the CCHS Project and because they are not subject to Open Meeting Law on the topic of the high school, they can openly debate and discuss that information. Other Town or School Boards could also include breaking news about the CCHS Project on their committee’s agenda and discuss it in an Open Meeting. The Concord Journal, for example, could write a story covering breaking news on the CCHS Project. It could be widely read, discussed in the community and posted on electronic chat boards. The Building Committee however, must wait until it is in open session with a quorum of members, to discuss and deliberate with each other. Discussions by individual committee members with staff are not subject to the Open Meeting Law.

In the spirit of open and transparent communication, the CCHS Building Committee will continue to update the community on the progress of the project. The CCHS Building Committee has a website, blog, RSS feed, electronic newsletter, Facebook page, Twitter, email and regularly speaks with the local press. We also periodically hold community forums for in-person updates and Q&A. If you have questions, please contact us at outreach@cchsbuilding.org

revised 8-2-12

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