Sunshine Act

The Sunshine Act requires all public agencies to take all official actions and conduct all deliberations leading up to official actions at public meetings.  The Act covers all actions by council and its committees and by all boards and commissions of the borough.  Official actions include making recommendations, establishment of policy, decisions on municipal business and votes taken on any motion, resolution, ordinance, rule, regulation, report or order.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Borough councils are required to provide an opportunity for public comments at each advertised regular and special meeting.  A 1998 amendment to the Sunshine Law requires that council must allow for public comment prior to taking official action.  The right of citizens to make comments is limited to matters of concern, official action or deliberation which are or may be before the governing body.  A board may limit the right to speak during this period to residents and taxpayers of the borough.

MEETING NOTICES

Notice must be given of all public meetings.  Notice of regularly scheduled meetings may be given once a year by advertising it in the newspaper of general circulation as least three days before the first meeting.  Notice must be also posted at the borough’s principal office.  For rescheduled or special meetings, notice must be published at least 24 hours in advance, plus posting.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Executive sessions, or meetings from which the public is excluded, may be held only for limited number of enumerated purposes.  These include discussing personnel matters related to a specific individual, purchase or lease of real estate, consultation with the solicitor in connection with ongoing or pending litigation or to discuss any municipal business which if conducted in public would violate a legal privilege or protected confidentiality.  The reason for holding the executive session must be announced at the open meeting immediately prior or subsequent to the executive session.

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