Rule on ‘competing record’

In legal terms there can be only one official record of a local government meeting – usually once the approved/corrected Minutes have been accepted.

Michigan’s Open Meetings Act Public Act No. 267 of 1976, as amended:

Proposed minutes must be available for public inspection within 8 business days after a meeting. Approved minutes must be available within 5 business days after the meeting at which they were approved. Corrections in the minutes must be made no later than the next meeting after the meeting to which the minutes refer. Corrected minutes must be available no later than the next meeting after the correction and must show both the original entry and the correction.

Almost all Michigan units of government either record their meetings or broadcast via Public television. In addition:

15.263 Meetings, decisions, and deliberations of public body; requirements; attending or addressing meeting of public body; tape-recording, videotaping, broadcasting, and telecasting proceedings; rules and regulations; exclusion from meeting; exemptions.

Sec. 3. (1) All meetings of a public body shall be open to the public and shall be held in a place available to the general public. All persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting except as otherwise provided in this act. The right of a person to attend a meeting of a public body includes the right to tape-record, to videotape, to broadcast live on radio, and to telecast live on television the proceedings of a public body at a public meeting. The exercise of this right shall not be dependent upon the prior approval of the public body. However, a public body may establish reasonable rules and regulations in order to minimize the possibility of disrupting the meeting.

(4) A person shall not be required as a condition of attendance at a meeting of a public body to register or otherwise provide his or her name or other information or otherwise to fulfill a condition precedent to attendance.

Essentially this means if an action or decision does not appear in the published approved Minutes there is no legal record it took place. A private Citizen may record and broadcast a meeting but the official minutes are still the legal record.

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MI Open Meetings Act