Can I boldly recommend checking out my column at Civil Beat this week, which is about another quirk in Hawaii’s Sunshine Law (“Hawaii Monitor: The ‘New Math’ of Public Meetings“). If you don’t subscribe to Civil Beat and have used up your free views, you can read my column here.
The short version is that if you’ve come to rely on email notices about upcoming public meetings that some state and county officers now offer, you need to know that they apparently have no legal obligation to get those notices to you in a timely fashion.
Although the Sunshine Law requires agencies to provide a public notice six days before a scheduled meeting, that requirement doesn’t apply to email notices or digital postings because the law was written before the advent of the digital age and refers only to regular, print-and-put-it-in-an-envelope snail mail.
So if your mailed notice isn’t sent in time, it can force the meeting to be cancelled so that the public gets the full advance notice required by law.
But if your email notice is delivered late, or even not at all, there’s apparently no legal recourse.
Anyway, read the column. It’s not too long.
But there’s more to the story, and I’ll get to that soon.