MACo Winter Conference: Open Meetings

Maryland open meeting experts teach local electeds to comply with the state’s sunshine laws. 

This class provided an overview of Maryland’s Open Meetings Act law, which guides public officials in the requirements for providing public notice of the meetings that public bodies hold to conduct public business and for closing meetings when appropriate. The presenters focused on steps that local governments can take to comply with the law’s application to Maryland local government, discuss some of the cases and complaints that have come before the Open Meetings Compliance Board, and, if time permits, address questions from the audience.

Transparency is one of the critical pillars of democratic governance, but making sure you continuously comply with the state’s sunshine laws can be challenging. Compliance can become even more complicated with the introduction of technology, both to host meetings and when used by elected leaders during meetings. Some key takeaways from this past session:

  • Don’t use cell phones during official meetings
  • Make sure you have a member of the body adequately certified in sunshine laws
  • If possible, perform legislative and administrative functions on different days


  • Frank Johnson, Deputy City Attorney, Gaithersburg, MD
  • April Ishak, AC Ishak Law LLC

Moderator: The Honorable Chris Burkett, Commissioner, Washington County

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