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Executive Function

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NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | March 12, 2006
Maryland legislators are trying to polish one of the state's most confounding open government provisions. In a House bill approved this month 141-0, lawmakers suggested telling the public about certain secret meetings - and picked a new name for the provision. If the bill is approved by both houses, it will be goodbye to executive function and hello to administrative function. Despite some tweaking, legislators have chosen not to overhaul the executive function clause, which permits a government body to secretly discuss, without notice, "the administration of" a law, rule, regulation or bylaw.
NEWS
March 12, 2006
In Maryland's Open Meetings Act, "executive function" is defined as "the administration of: a law of the State; a law of a political subdivison of the State; or a rule, regulation, or bylaw of a public body. " "Executive function," the act continues, "does not include: an advisory function, a judicial function; (or) a legislative function. " A public body may invoke "executive function" and meet secretly, without notifying the public, if it's administering an existing law. Asked for an example, Maryland Assistant Attorney General William Varga said a board that oversees a town manager might meet in an administrative role to discuss the manager's work.
NEWS
By Andrew Schotz | March 12, 2006
William Russell challenged his city council on a confusing open government statute and won. In 2002, the Frostburg City Council in Allegany County, Md., met privately one day. Then, at a public meeting the next day, the council announced a change in the government chain of command. As a citizen, Russell objected. At the time, the city council called its private meeting an executive session to discuss specific employees. But, in a letter to the state's Open Meetings Compliance Board, the council changed course and said the discussion was covered by the state's executive function clause.
NEWS
April 18, 2001
School Board defends secret meetings By TARA REILLY tarar@herald-mail.com Photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer Washington County School Board President J. Herbert Hardin said Tuesday afternoon that Monday's unannounced meeting was legal because the board was carrying out an executive function, a provision allowable under the Maryland Open Meetings Act. continued Six hours later, Hardin said...
NEWS
May 15, 2001
Board of Education president denies having any detective bills By TARA REILLY tarar@herald-mail.com The Washington County Board of Education does not have any bills on file from the private detective hired to investigate the school system, according to a May 11 letter from School Board President J. Herbert Hardin. Hardin was responding to an April 19 request from The Herald-Mail under the Maryland Public Information Act seeking all costs related to the investigation.
NEWS
May 10, 2001
BOE sets two closed sessions By TARA REILLY tarar@herald-mail.com The Washington County Board of Education will hold 10 hours of closed meetings tonight and Friday. The first meeting is a two hour executive session being held tonight to carry out negotiations with the Educational Support Personnel Local I, which is permitted under the Maryland Open Meetings Act. On Friday, the board will meet behind closed doors for eight hours in a retreat at Williamsport Retirement Village.
NEWS
By TAMELA BAKER | February 17, 2006
ANNAPOLIS tammyb@herald-mail.com Two bills that would expand Maryland's Open Meetings Act - to permit more public access to actions taken in closed meetings - were presented Thursday in the House Health and Government Operations Committee. One, sponsored by Del. Richard B. Weldon, R-Washington/Frederick, requires a public body that adjourns an open meeting for an "executive function" to report those functions in its minutes for its next meeting. The second, sponsored by Del. James W. Hubbard, D-Prince George's, would change the law's exemption from "executive function" to "administrative function" and would subject such activities to the same notice requirements as open meetings.
NEWS
November 16, 2000
State board rules on open meetings By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer An Aug. 15 closed-door meeting between the Washington County Board of Education and a developer proposing a Wal-Mart Supercenter near Funkstown did not violate the state Open Meetings Act, the Open Meetings Compliance Board has determined. continued The woman who submitted the complaint said Thursday she is not discouraged because she believes parts of the ruling validate her concerns.
NEWS
April 19, 1997
By STEVEN T. DENNIS Staff Writer Several Washington County Commissioners said Friday they plan to look into why the county Water and Sewer Advisory Commission held a closed meeting on Thursday. A Herald-Mail reporter was turned away from the budget work session and a sign was posted saying the meeting was an executive session. The advisory commission met in secret for about two hours, admitting the reporter for only the final 45 minutes of the meeting. Commission Chairman Clarence W. Scheer said the exclusion was a mixup, and that he didn't mean to hold a closed meeting.
NEWS
By BRENDAN KIRBY | July 14, 1999
Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and the City Council illegally discussed the Baldwin House complex behind closed doors in May, a state board ruled Wednesday. [cont. from front page ] In a separate complaint, the Open Meetings Compliance Board ruled Wednesday that the city acted within its rights when it held preliminary budget discussions in closed session earlier this year. The compliance board determined that city officials violated the Maryland Open Meetings Act on May 18 when they discussed whether to offer the vacant Baldwin complex to the University of Maryland.
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NEWS
By Andrew Schotz | March 12, 2006
William Russell challenged his city council on a confusing open government statute and won. In 2002, the Frostburg City Council in Allegany County, Md., met privately one day. Then, at a public meeting the next day, the council announced a change in the government chain of command. As a citizen, Russell objected. At the time, the city council called its private meeting an executive session to discuss specific employees. But, in a letter to the state's Open Meetings Compliance Board, the council changed course and said the discussion was covered by the state's executive function clause.
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NEWS
March 12, 2006
In Maryland's Open Meetings Act, "executive function" is defined as "the administration of: a law of the State; a law of a political subdivison of the State; or a rule, regulation, or bylaw of a public body. " "Executive function," the act continues, "does not include: an advisory function, a judicial function; (or) a legislative function. " A public body may invoke "executive function" and meet secretly, without notifying the public, if it's administering an existing law. Asked for an example, Maryland Assistant Attorney General William Varga said a board that oversees a town manager might meet in an administrative role to discuss the manager's work.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | March 12, 2006
Maryland legislators are trying to polish one of the state's most confounding open government provisions. In a House bill approved this month 141-0, lawmakers suggested telling the public about certain secret meetings - and picked a new name for the provision. If the bill is approved by both houses, it will be goodbye to executive function and hello to administrative function. Despite some tweaking, legislators have chosen not to overhaul the executive function clause, which permits a government body to secretly discuss, without notice, "the administration of" a law, rule, regulation or bylaw.
NEWS
By TAMELA BAKER | February 17, 2006
ANNAPOLIS tammyb@herald-mail.com Two bills that would expand Maryland's Open Meetings Act - to permit more public access to actions taken in closed meetings - were presented Thursday in the House Health and Government Operations Committee. One, sponsored by Del. Richard B. Weldon, R-Washington/Frederick, requires a public body that adjourns an open meeting for an "executive function" to report those functions in its minutes for its next meeting. The second, sponsored by Del. James W. Hubbard, D-Prince George's, would change the law's exemption from "executive function" to "administrative function" and would subject such activities to the same notice requirements as open meetings.
NEWS
May 15, 2001
Board of Education president denies having any detective bills By TARA REILLY tarar@herald-mail.com The Washington County Board of Education does not have any bills on file from the private detective hired to investigate the school system, according to a May 11 letter from School Board President J. Herbert Hardin. Hardin was responding to an April 19 request from The Herald-Mail under the Maryland Public Information Act seeking all costs related to the investigation.
NEWS
May 10, 2001
BOE sets two closed sessions By TARA REILLY tarar@herald-mail.com The Washington County Board of Education will hold 10 hours of closed meetings tonight and Friday. The first meeting is a two hour executive session being held tonight to carry out negotiations with the Educational Support Personnel Local I, which is permitted under the Maryland Open Meetings Act. On Friday, the board will meet behind closed doors for eight hours in a retreat at Williamsport Retirement Village.
NEWS
April 18, 2001
School Board defends secret meetings By TARA REILLY tarar@herald-mail.com Photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer Washington County School Board President J. Herbert Hardin said Tuesday afternoon that Monday's unannounced meeting was legal because the board was carrying out an executive function, a provision allowable under the Maryland Open Meetings Act. continued Six hours later, Hardin said...
NEWS
November 16, 2000
State board rules on open meetings By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer An Aug. 15 closed-door meeting between the Washington County Board of Education and a developer proposing a Wal-Mart Supercenter near Funkstown did not violate the state Open Meetings Act, the Open Meetings Compliance Board has determined. continued The woman who submitted the complaint said Thursday she is not discouraged because she believes parts of the ruling validate her concerns.
NEWS
By BRENDAN KIRBY | July 14, 1999
Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and the City Council illegally discussed the Baldwin House complex behind closed doors in May, a state board ruled Wednesday. [cont. from front page ] In a separate complaint, the Open Meetings Compliance Board ruled Wednesday that the city acted within its rights when it held preliminary budget discussions in closed session earlier this year. The compliance board determined that city officials violated the Maryland Open Meetings Act on May 18 when they discussed whether to offer the vacant Baldwin complex to the University of Maryland.
NEWS
April 19, 1997
By STEVEN T. DENNIS Staff Writer Several Washington County Commissioners said Friday they plan to look into why the county Water and Sewer Advisory Commission held a closed meeting on Thursday. A Herald-Mail reporter was turned away from the budget work session and a sign was posted saying the meeting was an executive session. The advisory commission met in secret for about two hours, admitting the reporter for only the final 45 minutes of the meeting. Commission Chairman Clarence W. Scheer said the exclusion was a mixup, and that he didn't mean to hold a closed meeting.
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