Posted on Jul 14, 2003 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 03-13
July 14, 2003
Views of Non-Board Members Included in Minutes

The Sunshine Law requires that boards keep written minutes of all meetings which “give a true reflection of the matters discussed at the meeting and the views of the participants.” Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92-9 (1993).

With this statutory mandate in mind, the OIP found that the primary purpose for keeping minutes is to reflect what a board did at a meeting. Looking to the Sunshine Law’s policy of protecting the public’s right to know, it is of primary importance to know the actions taken by the decision-makers (board members) so that the public can scrutinize their actions.

Thus, the OIP concluded that, while the Sunshine Law requires that minutes reflect the views of non-board members who participated in meetings, it is sufficient for the minutes to describe, in very general terms, the positions expressed by the non-board members.

Therefore, the OIP found that minutes of a Land Use Commission (“LUC”) meeting were sufficient despite a complaint by a member of the public that points enumerated in her presentation to the LUC were not individually listed in the minutes.

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