How to comply with the Michigan Open Meetings Act

Understanding the fundamentals of the Open Meetings Act can help prevent accidental errors.

The Michigan Open Meetings Act, MCL 125.3101 et seq., enhances the citizen’s right to know what is going on in government by opening to public view the meetings at which elected and non-elected officials make decisions on your behalf.

The guide to the Freedom of Information Act, MCL 15.231 et seq., and the Open Meetings Act is designed to make it easier for citizens to find out what their government is doing.

The Open Meetings Act (OMA) has been subject to considerable interpretation through court cases and attorneys’ general (AG) opinions. Both the courts and the AG opinions have tended to interpret OMA liberally in favor of openness.

On June 30, 2014 from 6 - 8:30 p.m. in the Northwest Michigan Works! (large conference room), 1209 S. Garfield Ave., Traverse City, MI, the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, is offering a general training to provide local officials the knowledge to effectively and legally operate within OMA. The training and presentation materials are designed for those who serve on public bodies, but all are welcome to attend.

Completion of this workshop qualifies as 2.5 Master Citizen Planner credits. Register early to receive the early bird rate.

Some topics covered will include: why is open government important, exceptions to OMA, before the meeting, before the emergency meeting, during the meeting, closing the meeting, after the meeting, and after the emergency meeting.

Registration within one week or at the door it will cost $70. For more information, see the MSU Extension events calendar listing. Registration is online at the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments registration website.

The Michigan State University Extension Government and Public Policy team offers training for elected and appointed officials for improved effectiveness in several areas, including various public policy issues and effects of government programs, regulation, incentives, strategies and more. By working together with local elected and appointed officials and interested citizens, MSU Extension is able to provide education on critical local and state issues.The MSU Extension Government and Public Policy team also offers professional training in Parliamentary Procedure.

Related Events

Related Articles