February 20, 2019

Are work sessions subject to the Open Meetings Act?

Your city has the option of holding work sessions as regularly scheduled meetings. An ordinance setting the date and time of the regular work session meeting can increase public awareness and reduce time and costs associated with calling special meetings.  Contact the KLC Department for Municipal Law and Training for a model ordinance.

If a work session is not established as a regular work session meeting in ordinance, treat work sessions as a special meeting. The city will have to follow all rules related to notice and the Open Meetings Act. The Open Meetings Act requires that all meetings where a quorum of the public agency is present and where any city business is discussed must be open to the public, even if no decisions are made. You can find detailed information about the legal requirements for conducting meetings in the City Officials Legal Handbook.

There is no statutory requirement that citizens be allowed to speak at any meeting other than public hearings. The only requirement is that they are allowed to listen. If citizens are allowed to speak, your city can impose guidelines for participation, including when or how long guests can speak. Ground rules can be set for meetings to follow parliamentary procedures.

Please contact the KLC Department for Municipal Law and Training at 1-800-876-4552 for more information on work sessions, special meetings, regular meetings or public meetings.