Transparency Vermont

Open Meeting Law, Public Records Act, Code of Ethics, Conflict of Interest,

Every fall, Secretary of State James Condos goes on the road all over Vermont with an awareness campaign he calls “The Transparency Tour”.

I found some Youtube videos that were recorded at some of his stops. I decided to create this page and cut the videos into 2 -4 minute sections for each part of the Open Meeting and Public Records Act laws that James discussed with titles on each to be able to easily reference any part of the laws.

Please Note -Refresh your page to view videos a second time The sections are coded for specific start and stop points which dissolve on the second time played

Transparency Tour Intro Back to Top

  • Accountability, Openness
  • Right to know
  • Whos the Boss?

About James Condos Back to Top

  • City Counseler
  • Senator
  • Secretary of State

Open Meeting Law Compliance? Back to Top

  • State and municipal Boards
  • Councils and Commissions
  • Committee and Subcommittees of these bodies

Secretary of State Duties Back to Top

  • 5 divisions
  • 65 employees
  • Helps towns and residents understand laws

“One important foundation of openness in Vermont is the “Right to Know” laws, including those related to open meetings and public records. Together they are the most important public laws we have because they allow us direct access to the decisions that affect us. A full understanding of these laws makes everyone a better citizen.” Secretary of State – James Condos

When Does the OML Apply? Back to Top

  • The Quorum
  • A Meeting
  • Discuss business or take action

Advance Public Notice Back to Top

  • Regular Meetings
  • Special Meetings
  • Emergency Meetings

Agendas Back to Top

  • When
  • Where
  • What else

Minutes Back to Top

  • What
  • When
  • Where

Executive Sessions Back to Top

  • What is this
  • When can they meet
  • What is appropriate?

Public Participation Back to Top

  • Attend
  • Participate
  • Enforce the Law

Why Comply? Back to Top

  • May be illegal
  • Meeting actions voidable
  • Our democracy

Enforcement Back to Top

  • Notice to body
  • Body’s Response
  • Cure or file suit

Public Records

What is a Public Record? Back to Top

  • Written or Recorded Information
  • Regardless of Physical Form
  • All Government Records are Public

Who Must Comply? Back to Top

  • Public Agencies of the State
  • Select Boards, Committees
  • Commissions, and Authorities

Who Can Copy or Inspect Records? Back to Top

  • Any Person
  • Not Required to Answer Reason for Request
  • Identity of Requestor cannot be Considdered

How to Make a Request Back to Top

  • In Writing Not Required
  • Can Inspect or Copy
  • May Request Copy Fee

How Custodian,Town Clerk Must Comply – Part 1 Back to Top

  • Active Use or in Storage
  • If Exempt Under Statue
  • If Record does not Exist

How Custodian,Town Clerk Must Comply – Part 2 Back to Top

  • Unusual Circumstances
  • Extend up yo 10 Business Days
  • Written Notice to Requestor

Making a Determination Back to Top

  • The Rule
  • The Exemptions
  • Burden of Proof, Copying and Fees

Why Comply? … Enforcement Back to Top

  • Denial of Access
  • Litagation
  • Freedom of Information