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Chatham lawyer explains open meeting law to board

Feb 20, 2024 12:45 am

Tiffany Greenwaldt-Simon reports at HudsonValley360.com that residents at the Chatham Town Board's Feb. 1 workshop meeting said they were concerned about town board members conducting business through email. Town attorney Tal G. Rappleyea responded at the board’s Feb. 15, explaining the state's open meeting law. He said, “We have to do the notices in the paper, we have to have it open to the public, but there are also opportunities to communicate in between meetings.... Board members can do that obviously, but we can’t do it in a fashion that we’re actually having a meeting when we’re really not." No more than two board members can discuss issues on email or text messages together. Rappleyea said, “We can’t talk about numbers or possible votes, or things of that nature.... Even sending a document saying ‘here, let’s work on this and send me your comments,’ that’s going a bit too far, unfortunately, if you involve more than two board members..... You can’t have this rolling discussion where you’re doing more than just exchanging ideas.” Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.