>Brookings Oregon News, Sports, & Weather | The Curry Coastal Pilot

News Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

News arrow Opinion arrow Executive sessions: What are they all about?

Print

Executive sessions: What are they all about?

A recent executive session in which Brookings-Harbor School Board members discussed personnel has sparked questions among readers about the nature of such closed-door meetings. We would like to explain the legality of these sessions and the Pilot’s policy about covering them.

Oregon’s public meeting laws permit governing bodies to meet in executive session, outside of public view, about a limited number of topics. These meetings are limited to deliberations. The board must return to public session before making a final decision or taking a final action.

Executive sessions are open to media in most cases. The exceptions are when a council or board is holding strategy discussions with labor negotiators, talking about student expulsion, and consulting with counsel concerning litigation to which the newspaper or a newspaper representative is a party.

The board may require specific information in executive session not be reported by the Pilot. This should be done by declaration of the chairman, as it usually is, or a board vote. In the absence of this directive, the executive session may be reported.

The Pilot, in following the spirit of the Oregon public meeting laws, understands that most information or comments made during executive session are not for publication. The exception is any discussion of topics apart from those legally justifying the executive session.

Also, the Pilot is free to report on information gathered outside of an executive session, even though the information was the subject of an executive session. For example: A reporter attends the executive session on the school board’s discussion of the superintendent’s performance. Afterward, the reporter asks a board member what she thinks of the superintendent’s performance. She shares her criticism or accolades. The reporter may use that interview to develop a story, even though the reporter first heard the information at the executive session.

Overall, the Pilot has had few reasons to question how local boards, councils and commissions conduct and act during executive sessions. They all do a relatively good job following the spirit of Oregon’s Public Meeting Law, and that benefits everyone involved.

Print

The Pilot front page

Get home delivery of the Curry Coastal Pilot in Brookings-Harbor for only $4 a month or $48/year. By mail, subscriptions are $55 a year outside of Curry County. After filling out one simple and secure online form, you could be on your way to learning more about Brookings-Harbor, Curry County and America's Wild Rivers Coast.
subscribe

Follow Curry Coastal Pilot headlines on Follow Curry Coastal Pilot headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use