Often times, our meeting agenda changes so we would like to add a disclosure at the bottom that reads “Agenda is subject to change.”
Is this something that is allowed, and would it need to be included in our bylaws?
With the changes to the open meetings law and more attention on library leadership generally, now is a good time to think about the nuances of public library meeting agendas.
Since agendas have to be posted in advance, it is true that sometimes a board may have to make an 11th-hour change.
The typical ways to address the need to switch up the agenda, once it is set and published in advance as required by law, are:
1. To use the "new business" section to add anything that wasn't announced in advance;
2. For items on the agenda that, for whatever reason, must be removed/postponed or changed, to do it by motion, such as:
"RESOLVED: Due to the board still receiving active public comments, the comment period has been extended and the agenda item to review and discuss the comments on [TOPIC] is to be rescheduled to the next regular meeting of the board.
"RESOLVED: Due to the confirmation that insurance will cover the damage, the emergency fundraising discussion is no longer needed."
There is no problem with also including on public notices "As board agendas and meeting notices are generally set one week in advance, the board may announce new business or change posted items, as warranted by circumstances and the best interests of the library."
The thing to avoid (because it can leave you open to criticism, not really a huge legal vulnerability) is "unofficial" changes to the agenda. By using "new business" for unexpected items, and resolutions to change set items, the minutes will reflect proper adjustments that change the agenda.
Tags: Board of Trustees, By-laws, Open Meetings Law, Public Libraries