Evaluating Executive Sessions
For an Executive Session to proceed lawfully, take several procedural steps:
First, a motion must be made during an open meeting to enter into executive session;
Second, the motion must identify “the general area or areas of the subject or subjects to be considered;”
Third, the motion must be carried by a majority vote of the total membership of a public body.
The general area of the subject to be considered MUST meet one of the following conditions:
- Commonly thought of as a ‘personnel’ issue, does the
discussion have to do with any of the following related to a particular,
specific person or corporation?
- Historical matters
- Details pertaining to employment actions including
- Will public safety be imperiled if the discussion were public?
- Does the discussion disclose the identity of a law enforcement agency or informer?
- Is the discussion related to current or future investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense that would imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed?
- Does it relate to other proposed, pending or current litigation?
- Is the discussion about collective negotiations covered in Article 14 of Civil Service Law (the Taylor Law)?
- Does the discussion have to do with preparation, grading or administration of examinations?
- Is the discussion about real estate deals for property held by the organization and would public discussion substantially affect the value of those deals?
NOTE that for ‘personnel’ issues, the following do not allow for exclusion of the public:
- Employee compensation, broadly
- Personnel policy