FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Mr. Gary Grant
Member At-Large, Albemarle County School Board
The staff of
the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is authorized
to issue advisory opinions. The ensuing staff advisory opinion
is based solely upon the information presented in your e-mail
of January 4, 2001.
Dear Mr. Grant:
You have asked whether
your attendance at a meeting of the Compensation Committee
("the Committee") created by the Albemarle County Board of
Supervisors violated the Virginia Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA). You indicate that you are a member of the Albemarle
County School Board, but are not a member of the Committee.
However, two of your fellow school board members also serve
on the Committee. You attended a meeting of the Committee
as a member of the public, and sat in the audience, while
your two fellow school board members attended the same meeting
as members of that public body. You ask whether this gathering
of three members constituted a meeting of the school board.
FOIA defines a meeting
as (i) as many as three members, or (ii) a quorum, if less
than three, of the constituent membership of a public
body. In the scenario that you present, three members of the
school board were gathered at the Committee meeting. However,
subsection G of § 2.1-343 allows the gathering of two or more
members of a public body at a function not related to the
discussion or transaction of the public business of that body.
It does not appear that school board business was discussed
amongst the three members at the Committee meeting, nor does
it appear that the Committee meeting was called for the purpose
of discussing school board business. Thus, under FOIA, the
presence of three school board members at the Committee meeting
does not also constitute a school board meeting.
Thank you for contacting
this office. I hope that I have been of assistance.
Maria J.K. Everett