This question arises as the result of a question posed by a resident of North Adams, Mass., Kelly Lee <firstname.lastname@example.org>, who reports that he sits on a municipal board and would like guidance on the use of email to discuss public issues. Bill Densmore, director of the New England News Forum, replies in an email. .
Densmore writes in reply:
The question of email communication among and to board members is somewhat on the cutting edge of the law. In Massachusetts the attorney general has weighed in with guidance, and there may be at least one court case.
I have copied Walter V. Robinson, <W.Robinson@neu.edu> a former Boston Globe investigative reporter/editor who now teaches at Northeastern University. He may have a quick response on who is most up on this. In North Adams, the city attorney issued a letter opinion in March, 2006. There's also a related story. And here's the attorney's letter text. Other sources of advice might be Robert J. Ambrogi <email@example.com>, a Rockport attorney who heads the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association; or Pam Wilmot <firstname.lastname@example.org>, head of Common Cause of Massachusetts.
On Fri, 9 Nov 2007, kelly lee wrote:
> Hi Bill,
> A question has come up on a board I am on concerning the open meeting concept, how emails fit into the picture and other concerns . . . I want to be able to address this particular board.
> Kelly Lee
> North Adams
>> Bill Densmore, director/editor
>> The Media Giraffe Project Journalism Program
>> 108 Bartlett Hall
>> Univ. of Massachusetts
>> Amherst MA 01003
>> OFF: 413-577-4370 / CELL: 413-458-8001