Senior Center Boards and the Brown Act
Q: There is a large senior center complex Are their Board of Directors’ meetings subject to the Brown Act?
A: With respect to whether the Board of Directors is subject to the Brown Act, your inquiry does not provide enough information. The answer depends on whether it is a “legislative body” for the purposes of the Brown Act. The Brown Act defines that term in Government Code section 54952, which states as follows:
As used in this chapter, “legislative body” means:
(a) The governing body of a local agency or any other local body created by state or federal statute.
(b) A commission, committee, board, or other body of a local agency, whether permanent or temporary, decision-making or advisory, created by charter, ordinance, resolution, or formal action of a legislative body. However, advisory committees, composed solely of the members of the legislative body that are less than a quorum of the legislative body are not legislative bodies, except that standing committees of a legislative body, irrespective of their composition, which have a continuing subject matter jurisdiction, or a meeting schedule fixed by charter, ordinance, resolution, or formal action of a legislative body are legislative bodies for purposes of this chapter.
(c) (1) A board, commission, committee, or other multimember body that governs a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that either:
(A) Is created by the elected legislative body in order to exercise authority that may lawfully be delegated by the elected governing body to a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity.
(B) Receives funds from a local agency and the membership of whose governing body includes a member of the legislative body of the local agency appointed to that governing body as a full voting member by the legislative body of the local agency.
(2) Notwithstanding subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), no board, commission, committee, or other multimember body that governs a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that receives funds from a local agency and, as of February 9, 1996, has a member of the legislative body of the local agency as a full voting member of the governing body of that private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity shall be relieved from the public meeting requirements
of this chapter by virtue of a change in status of the full voting member to a nonvoting member.
(d) The lessee of any hospital the whole or part of which is first leased pursuant to subdivision (p) of Section 32121 of the Health and Safety Code after January 1, 1994, where the lessee exercises any material authority of a legislative body of a local agency delegated to it by that legislative body whether the lessee is organized and operated by the local agency or by a delegated authority.
Assuming the center you describe is a private corporation, you need to look to subdivisions 54952(c)(1) or (c)(2). A good resource for understanding this complex question is the Attorney General’s guide to the Brown Act, which is available on the Attorney General’s Internet web site.