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We only have one meeting a month, and then we get together once a week to have coffee and discuss upcoming agenda items. These aren't meetings, are they?
Yes, they are. "Meeting" includes informal gatherings or work sessions, and discussions where some or all of the members of the governing body are participating in the meeting by telephone. The only time a gathering of a “quorum” is not a meeting is if it is a purely social gathering – no public business can be considered, or else it becomes a meeting
But I can talk to one other member of a governing body without it being a meeting, can't I?
Yes, as long as the two of you are not a quorum of a three-member governing body (including committees) and the discussion is not part of a sequence of individual conversations, which collectively involve a quorum of a governing body. But be aware that if members of a governing body participate in a series of individual conversations that collectively constitute a quorum of the governing body, those conversations are a meeting.
If we hold an open meeting, do we have to allow the public to address the governing body?
No. The right to attend an open meeting does not include the right to participate in that meeting. However, other statutes may require a public hearing at which the public is allowed to comment on specific subjects.
Remember - a recorded roll call vote is required on all votes that pertain to the merits of a matter before the governing body.
The time in which you are required to respond to a request is generally measured in hours or a few days, rather than several days or weeks.