Wednesday, September 9, 2015
DAVID W. OPDERBECK VS. MIDLAND PARK BOARD OF EDUCATION A-2520-13T3
DAVID W. OPDERBECK VS. MIDLAND PARK BOARD OF EDUCATION
In this appeal we are asked to construe the term "agenda" as used in the "adequate notice" requirements imposed on public bodies by the Open Public Meeting Act (OPMA), a/k/a the Sunshine Law. The OPMA does not define the term "agenda." The Law Division construed the term "agenda" to include the attachments and supplemental documents mentioned therein and, as a result, permanently enjoined the Midland Park Board of Education to post on its website copies of any appendices, attachments, reports, and other documents referred to in its agenda.
We reverse and construe the term "agenda" by giving it its plain, ordinary meaning: a list or outline of things to be considered or done. This definition of "agenda" is also consistent with the definition of the term contained in a formal advisory opinion issued by the Attorney General shortly after the Legislature adopted the OPMA, and has guided public bodies on the meaning of "agenda," as used in N.J.S.A. 10:4-8(d), for nearly forty years.