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Do fire board members violate the Open Meetings Act by continuing to discuss how and what they should do after the public meeting has been adjourned?

The Michigan Open Meetings Act requires that all “deliberations” of a public body constituting a quorum of its members take place in a public meeting and that all “decisions” of the public body must take place in an open meeting. There are limited exceptions, such as a social or chance gathering or conference.

The Michigan Court of Appeals addressed a similar situation where members of a public body engaged in a post-meeting discussion. During the post-meeting discussion, the members reviewed financial matters and discussed an upcoming speaker. The Court determined that while these discussions had occurred, there had been no deliberation and no decision by the board members after the meeting. Solom v. Dickinson County Library Board, Michigan Court of Appeals, 2002. 

Since it appears that no exception applies, as long as the Fire Board did not deliberate on an issue, such as careful consideration prior to rendering a decision, or render a decision, it did not violate the Open Meetings Act. 

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