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Open Meeting Law
The information and links on this page are primarily aimed at helping boards and committees comply with the requirements of Open Meeting Law.
Public Meeting Posting
Except in cases of emergency, town boards and committees must provide the public with notice of their meetings at least 48 hours in advance, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. Notice of emergency meetings must be posted as soon as reasonably possible prior to the meeting. Meetings are posted online and on the bulletin board in Town Hall.
In order to ensure timely posting, meeting notices/agendas should be filed with the Town Clerk’s office by noon of the day before the 48-hour deadline. For example, if a meeting is planned for Monday, the 48-hour deadline is Thursday, so the agenda should be sent by noon on Wednesday. If your board is supported by a Department Assistant that is responsible for posting your agendas, please work directly with them to ensure timely posting.
All meeting postings received by the Town Clerk’s office will be acknowledged via email and posted in a timely fashion. If you don’t receive an acknowledgment that your meeting notice has been received and posted, or if you check the website and don’t see your agenda, please contact us immediately, so we can take care of it.
Boards and committees are required to create and maintain accurate minutes of all meetings, including executive sessions. The minutes must include:
- The date, time and place of the meeting
- The members present or absent
- The decisions made and actions taken, including a record of all votes
- A summary of the discussions on each subject
- A list of all documents and exhibits used at the meeting
- The name of any member who participated in the meeting remotely
The Open Meeting Law requires that minutes are created and approved in a timely manner. A "timely manner" is considered to be within the next three board/committee meetings or 30 days from the date of the meeting, whichever is later.
By policy of the Boxborough Select Board, minutes from all board minutes must be submitted for posting online as soon as they have been approved. This allows the public to easily access information and makes response to public records requests easier.
Public Record Policy
Minutes, and all documents and exhibits used, are public records and a part of the official record of the meeting. Records may be subject to disclosure under either the Open Meeting Law or Public Records Law.
Details Regarding Posting Procedure, Minutes & Other Open Meeting Law Requirements
- 10 Reasons for Executive Session (PDF)
- Checklist for Creating and Approving Minutes (PDF)
- Executive Session Minute Template (PDF)
- Executive Session Minutes FAQ (PDF)
- Guide to Posting Meeting Notices (Agendas) (PDF)
- Meeting Minutes Template (PDF)
- Meeting Notice (Agenda) Template (PDF)
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts Open Meeting Law (PDF)
- Open Meeting Law Regulations Promulgated by the Attorney General (PDF)
- Open Meeting Law Guide (PDF)
- Text of Open Meeting Law (PDF)
- Website of the Attorney General of Massachusetts
Watch Open Meeting Law Web Training Videos, recorded by the Attorney General’s Division of Open Government to serve as a resource to members of the public and public bodies seeking to understand the requirements of the Open Meeting Law. The presentation is divided up into six videos. The run time for all six videos together is about one hour. You may view the six videos in succession to cover the entire presentation, or you may select specific videos on topics of interest. While this presentation is meant to provide an overview of the requirements of the Open Meeting Law, specific questions should be addressed to the Division of Open Government at 617-963-2540 or by emailing the Division of Open Government.