S Memo 12-12

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 in Informal Opinions - Sunshine Law

S Memo 12-12
April 23, 2012
Board Member’s E-mail Correspondence
to Other Members

The Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) asked whether the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board (Board) violated the Sunshine Law when a Board member sent messages by 
e-mail to the other Board members regarding various matters that were, or anticipated to be, on the Board’s agenda for upcoming meetings.

OIP found that because the Board member’s e-mail messages sent to all Board members concerned matters within the Board’s authority that were anticipated to appear on the Board’s agenda in the foreseeable future, these e-mail messages improperly constituted Board discussion of official business in violation of the Sunshine Law’s open meeting requirement. 

OIP recommended that the NCO work with the Board to enforce the Sunshine Law’s prohibition against Board members’ discussion of official business outside a meeting, which in this case took the form of e-mail correspondence from one Board member to the others.