Open Meetings

A meeting of a board occurs any time a quorum of board members meet to discuss or consider any public business or policy over which the board has some jurisdiction or advisory authority. Meetings must be held in a place that is open to the public.

Frequency of Meetings
A regular meeting time and location is useful but not required. While the frequency of meetings will depend on the nature and work load of the board, most boards meet at least once per month.

Posting of Meeting Times
All meetings in which any discussion or deliberation will occur between a quorum of committee or board members must be posted with the Office of the Town Clerk at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. This 48-hour requirement includes Saturdays, but not Sundays or legal holidays.

Emergency Meetings
In the event of an emergency, that is, a sudden, unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action by the body, notice may be posted for fewer than 48 hours. As soon as the emergency meeting is scheduled, notice must be posted.

Open Meeting Law
The Open Meeting Law gives the public and the press the right to attend (though not necessarily the right to participate in) all committee meetings except those portions held in Executive Session.

Robert's Rules of Order
Most boards and committees conduct their business using Robert’s Rules of Order. This publication, written by Sarah Robert, is available in the Weston Public Library.

Rules Adherence
The degree of adherence to Robert’s Rules is largely dependent upon the number of committee members (or of attendees at a hearing), the purpose always being to allow everyone to speak and be heard, and to maintain fairness and courtesy. Generally, it is up to the chair to set the pattern.

Attendance & Public Speaking
Interested residents may attend board or committee meetings; however, at regular committee meetings (as distinguished from Public Hearings), the fact that the public can attend does not translate into an entitlement for members of the public to speak. Members of the audience may address the committee only with the permission of the presiding officer (Chair). Most boards, committees, and commissions offer a Resident Comment period where residents may ask questions or comments. 

Chair Responsibilities
It is up to the chair to assure that public participation in a meeting does not interfere with the board of committee accomplishing its purpose. For example, a chair can (and in some cases, should) ask that the public refrain from comment until the end of the meeting, or limit the time for public comment on any particular agenda item.