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Open Meetings & Executive Sessions

Open Meetings: After 40 years, why can’t we “get it”?


INTRODUCTION.  The convergence of Mississippi’s Open Meeting Act, Mississippi Code Ann. § 25-41-1 et seq. (1972) (as amended 1975) and a Board’s authorization to engage in an executive session create a panoply of questions and conflicts.  In order to resolve the conflicts with some type of clarity, we will consider the scope of statutes which attempt to create transparency in government, an understanding of Mississippi’s statutes specifically, and consider the manner in which the Mississippi appellate courts have interpreted these statutes.  We will then consider commentary from the Mississippi Ethics Commission, an institution well versed in Mississippi local government interaction with the Open Meetings Act and the application of the executive session exception to the Open Meetings Act.  Finally, we will establish a paradigm for successfully invoking an executive session. Read More