For government to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” it must be open to the people. It is this spirit of openness that inspired the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act. These two laws, known as Michigan’s “sunshine laws,” are designed to make government processes and information more open to the public.
The Open Meetings Act applies to governmental bodies, those “empowered by state constitution, statute, charter, ordinance, resolution or rule to exercise governmental authority.” Nearly all of the court decisions and Attorney General’s opinions addressing the Act have interpreted it liberally in favor of openness.
The intent of the OMA is to let the public know what is going on in their government. It applies to all public bodies and all deliberations and decisions must be made in public. Very few exceptions are in the law.
Social or chance gatherings, or conferences, which are not intended to avoid the OMA, are exempt. It is important for public bodies to be careful not to discuss government business during these gatherings. This can be accomplished by paying careful attention to what the OMA says about deliberations and decisions.
The Freedom of Information Act regulates and sets requirements for disclosure of public records to ensure every citizen’s right of access to government documents. It establishes the right to inspect and receive copies of records of state and local government bodies.
The Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Public Act. No. 442 of 1976, establishes procedures to ensure every citizen’s right of access to government documents. The Act establishes the right to inspect and receive copies of records of state and local government bodies.
For answers on how to submit a FOIA request to the City of Auburn, what fees are required and how they are calculated, how to challenge a denial, and more please read the FOIA Written Public Summary found below. If you have further questions, please contact the City Clerk.
The Open Meetings Act, Public Act No. 267 of 1976, protects your right to know what’s going on in government by opening to full public view the processes by which elected and nonelected officials make decisions on your behalf.
All meetings are posted to the bulletin board outside of City Hall at 113 E. Elm St., Auburn, MI 48611.
Additionally, a listing of scheduled meetings can be found on the City’s website by going to the ‘Reference Desk’ drop-down and choosing ‘Minutes’. You may also find the Agendas, Minutes, and Audio Recordings of the City Commission meetings and the Minutes of other City Meetings in this location.