FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-01
January 24, 2001
Mr. Gary Grant
Member At-Large, Albemarle County School Board
The staff of the Freedom of
Information Advisory Council is authorized to issue advisory
opinions. The ensuing staff advisory opinion is based solely upon
the information presented in your e-mail of January 4, 2001.
Dear Mr. Grant:
You have asked whether your attendance at a meeting of the
Compensation Committee ("the Committee") created by the Albemarle
County Board of Supervisors violated the Virginia Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA). You indicate that you are a member of the
Albemarle County School Board, but are not a member of the
Committee. However, two of your fellow school board members also
serve on the Committee. You attended a meeting of the Committee as
a member of the public, and sat in the audience, while your two
fellow school board members attended the same meeting as members of
that public body. You ask whether this gathering of three members
constituted a meeting of the school board.
FOIA defines a meeting as (i) as many as three members, or
(ii) a quorum, if less than three, of the constituent
membership of a public body. In the scenario that you present,
three members of the school board were gathered at the Committee
meeting. However, subsection G of § 2.1-343 allows the
gathering of two or more members of a public body at a function not
related to the discussion or transaction of the public business of
that body. It does not appear that school board business was
discussed amongst the three members at the Committee meeting, nor
does it appear that the Committee meeting was called for the
purpose of discussing school board business. Thus, under FOIA, the
presence of three school board members at the Committee meeting
does not also constitute a school board meeting.
Thank you for contacting this office. I hope that I have been of
Maria J.K. Everett
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