BHE: Use of Electronic Messaging by Members

As elected officials, Committee members will exercise caution when communicating between and among themselves via electronic messaging services including, but not limited to, electronic mail (e-mail), Internet web forums, and Internet chat rooms.

The Open Meeting Law applies to any deliberation by a quorum of members about any public business within its jurisdiction. Deliberation is defined as movement toward a decision including, but not limited to, the sharing of an opinion regarding business over which the Committee has supervision, control, or jurisdiction.  A quorum may be arrived at sequentially using electronic messaging without knowledge and intent by the author.

Committee members should use electronic messaging between and among members only for housekeeping purposes such as requesting or communicating agenda items, meeting times, or meeting dates.  Electronic messaging should not be used to discuss Committee matters that require public discussion in accordance with the Open Meeting Law.

Under the Public Records Law, electronic messages between public officials may be considered public records and may be requested and reviewed by members of the public in accordance with that law.

MSC first vote: 8/20/13
MSC second vote: 8/27/13