A&A: What are the rules rescheduling a regular board meeting?

Q: Can a board president or staff member change a regular board meeting without board approval?

A: The Brown Act provides that “[e]ach legislative body of a local agency, except for advisory committees or standing committees, shall provide, by ordinance, resolution, bylaws, or by whatever other rule is required for the conduct of business by that body, the time and place for holding regular meetings.” Gov’t Code § 54954.

Changing the time or place for holding regular meetings would seem to require adopting a new ordinance, resolution, bylaw, or “whatever other rule is required for the conduct of business by that body.”

As this language indicates, the Brown Act itself does not spell out a specific procedure but rather calls on individual legislative bodies to follow their own governing procedures.

It would not be surprising for the body’s own bylaws or rules to require that such a change requires approval by the body and can’t be taken unilaterally by a board officer or staff person, but, again, the specific procedures would vary among legislative bodies.

Holme Roberts & Owen LLP is general counsel for the First Amendment Coalition and responds to First Amendment Coalition hotline inquiries. In responding to these inquiries, we can give general information regarding open government and speech issues but cannot provide specific legal advice or representation.