(800) 995-8696

Open meetings crucial for every local government

January 26, 2013

Violating open meeting policies can be a big deal (or not) depending on the location, but every town, city and county government should focus on minimizing the risks and improving their practices not only to avoid rebuffs from a higher level, but to improve community trust as well.

According to The Chicago Sun-Times, an Oak Brook trustee recently alleged that the town's council violated the state's open meeting act, pointing out that the board held a closed meeting on a topic that should have been held in an open forum.

"It could be considered that we deceived the public because there was no notice of what we discussed in the closed session," Mike Manzo, the trustee in question, told the news source. "You can take a poll of trustees in closed session, but you then have to come back and vote before taking any action."

Any local board or council needs to invest in the right tools to ensure open and transparent government processes. Agenda management tools can help a council properly inform the public of meetings, while meeting minutes software can ensure that all information is quickly and easily made accessible afterwards.