Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Michigan Asset Management Council - Subject to Open Meetings Act? Let's Find Out

We have reported before on the dismal state of Michigan’s roads, and a short trip this morning reminded us that the problem is still present and active.
We see that there is a conference set up for May at the Kellogg Center at Michigan State University
operated by the 10-member Michigan Asset Management Council, a public board which has to post its minutes and meeting times in accordance with the state’s open meetings act.
Perhaps this meeting would provide some answers to the questions about the state’s troubled roads. Why not go and check it out? While we’re hardly riding low wallet side, the price is $30 for public agencies and $100 for private companies. But if this is an open meeting, they should not be able to charge.
Not sure how that works for anyone – if we are funding the board and paying for the meeting, should not private vendors be given preference?
So I sent an email to Brian Sanada, the board’s listed contact. It reads:
Hi -
I'd like to attend the May 19 Transportation Management Conference but am confused by the admission price. I believe this is a conference of public officials, and the flyer states that all ten members of the Michigan Asset Management Council will be present. I am not a vendor nor am I connected with a municipality, but I would like to know what your take on this conference is in relation to the Open Meetings Act.
I thank you for your time.
I may be incorrect, but I would maintain that this is a public meeting for the “purpose of deliberating toward or rendering a decision on a public policy,” which is how the state’s Open Meetings Act defines a meeting.


  1. Let me know if they try to charge you to attend or try to close it. That would be very wrong.
    Rep. Tom McMillin

  2. Thank you, I will be attending the 8:35 opening and expect that they will fully comply with allowing the public to attend at no cost. If they refuse, I will let you know.