Sub-quorums of a public body are not subject to the OPMA, so subcommmittee meetings are usually held in private. Often that’s where the real discussion and decision happens, with little more than a sterile rubber stamping by the full board in public session, in many cases. As the article notes, “when the [Sussex-Wantage] board last operated with a committee structure several years ago, some board members had complained of being excluded or of receiving selective or incomplete information from certain committees, whose deliberations were not open to the public.” Since the intent of the OPMA is to allow the public to witness the deliberative process, public boards that delegate work to subcommittees should, we feel, at an open meeting of the full body, present the options discussed in subcommittee and reasons for conclusions reached. -NJFOG
By Eric Obernauer
New Jersey Herald
Feb. 12, 2016
Read article here.
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