If we don't take a vote, do we still have to worry about whether it's a meeting or a special meeting with additional notice requirements to the public per case law. [If there is discussion and deliberation of an item of public business or an item that will come before the governing body, then it is a meeting and adequate public notice applies. If the meeting takes place on a day/date (Tuesday) other than the day/date previously announced (Thursday), it requires a real stretch to say that it is somehow not a special called meeting and thus does not fall within the more specific notice requirements for called meetings.]
MTAS, upon whom the city frequently relies for legal opinions, has provided guidance on special called meetings and has included a reference to the unpublished opinion [Englewood Citizens] that I discussed with Frank and mentioned in my comments to the Finance Committee and other councilmembers. Click here to see the MTAS opinion.
There was notice of the Finance Committee meeting. Under the three-prong Englewood test cited by MTAS, there would be a question as to whether two-days notice was adequate public notice. In the case of a special called meeting, there would be a serious question as to whether the public was adequately informed of the public business to be discussed or deliberated upon at the special meeting. In fact, since the "agenda" was only passed out to Finance Committee members at the meeting, there is a serious question as to whether the Finance Committee itself was provided with adequate notice of items to be discussed or considered at the special meeting.
NOTE 1: The city's website never provided notice of yesterday's Finance Committee meeting. As of several days ago and today, the city's website provides notice of the council meeting on 9/15; the Solid Waste Board meeting on 9/18; and the regular Finance Committee meeting on October 1 at 3:30. No website mention was ever provided of the 9/29 special Finance Committee meeting.
NOTE 2: It is my understanding that the items on the 9/29/09 agenda (shown above) will be considered at tomorrow's (10/1/09) regular Finance Committee meeting. Tomorrow's meeting, however, will start at Thursday's regularly scheduled time of 3:30 pm!