Sunshine Memo 11-10
Discussion Outside of a Meeting
The Neighborhood Commission Office sought an advisory
opinion, pursuant to a complaint received from a neighborhood board
chair, on whether a board member violated the Sunshine Law by sending
an e-mail to his fellow neighborhood board members discussing his
position on the Ho‘opili project.
The Sunshine Law requires board members to discuss
“board business” as part of a properly noticed board
meeting unless a permitted interaction or other exception applies.
OIP has opined that a member’s expression to other members
of his or her views on board business is a prohibited discussion
outside of a meeting whether the other members are physically present
to hear an oral communication of those views or receive those views
through other means, including through receipt of written correspondence
It was undisputed that at the time the email was sent,
the Ho`opili project was a specific matter pending before the Board.
Because the board member sent the email to all board members concerning
his views on the project, OIP found that it constituted a discussion
of board business outside of a properly noticed open meeting in
violation of the Sunshine Law.