How Open?

Last month, the New York Coalition for Open Government ( released a report in which it graded how well a selection of 20 village boards throughout the state have provided information during the pandemic shutdown.

The coalition scored each village board using four criteria: whether its 2020 meeting minutes were online; whether it posted meeting agendas online in February; whether it posted backup documents online in February; and whether public comments were allowed during meetings. 

How Open?

Because the state Open Meetings Law requires villages to post agendas and backup “as best as practicable,” those criteria were given added weight.

Nineteen of the 20 villages provided the public some way to comment during meetings but five earned overall grades of D and 10 failed. By contrast, when we applied the coalition criteria to municipalities in the Highlands, all did well with the caveat that backup material was not always attached to agendas or archived online.

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