State Agrees: Emails Count Under Open Meeting Law

Jan 22, 2016

Vermont's Open Meeting Law requires that all meetings of public committees be open and accessible to the public — and in today's world of electronic communication the state says this applies to emails, too. 

For the purposes of the law, a meeting is defined as any time a quorum of members are communicating, even if members are not in the same physical space.

There are a few exceptions to the opening meeting law, such as if a town is negotiating the purchase of real estate or discussing the dismal of a public official, but these cases are rare. The majority of business must be conducted in an open meeting.

Recently, the town of Strafford found itself in violation of Vermont's Open Meeting Law due to emails between members of their selectboard.

Marya Merriam is a first-year student New York University, but while on her winter break she's reported this story for the Herald of Randolph.