Maine Cities and Towns Shift to Virtual Meetings to Carry out Public’s Business

Portland Press Herald
March 29, 2020

As concerns about public access has increased, videoconferencing has become the new normal for Maine municipalities adjusting to doing necessary business during the coronavirus pandemic.

An Excerpt

Sigmund Schutz, a First Amendment attorney with Preti Flaherty who represents MaineToday Media, which includes the Portland Press Herald, said the Freedom of Access Act “gives you the right to attend, but not necessarily to be heard at public meetings.” However, certain types of proceedings – including Planning Board decisions – must have input from the public. “For other proceedings it would be a shame if they changed normal practices and eliminate public comment,” he said

Firm Highlights

News

Attorney Betsy E. Wakefield Joins Preti Flaherty’s Business Law Group

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that Betsy E. Wakefield has joined the firm. Betsy will practice with the Business Law Group from the firm’s Portland office, where she will be counseling banking and...

Press Coverage

As More States Release COVID-19 Cases by Town, Maine Says It Could Take 6 Months

As more states continue to release information on the number and distribution of coronavirus cases, officials from Maine's public health agency claim that making tallies available to the public under the state's Freedom of...

Press Coverage

Maine - Waterville Coronavirus Panel Illegally Met in Secret

A Waterville City Council coronavirus subcommittee formed in response to the outbreak has been accused of illegally meeting in secret, denying public access to its deliberations, and making unlawful decisions. Extended Coverage: Virus Concerns Lead to 'Public' Meetings Without...

Press Coverage

Maine - Mills Administration Held Secret Meetings on Pandemic with State Lawmakers

Officials in the administration of Governor Mills briefed large groups of Maine legislators privately and without public notice multiple times, in apparent violation of state law. Extended Coverage: Mills administration holds 8 briefings with...

Publication

Preti Flaherty COVID-19 Resources

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Preti Flaherty's attorneys have maintained a constant stream of the most up-to-date information and resources for our clients, business partners, and others struggling to navigate these complex...

News

Preti Flaherty Attorney Benjamin S. Piper Promoted to Partner

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that the firm’s partnership has named attorney Benjamin S. Piper as a partner. Ben is a member of the firm's Environmental, Litigation, and Media Law Practice Groups and works...

Publication

Open Courts Compendium: First Circuit

Sigmund D. Schutz was invited by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to author the First Circuit chapter in the  Open Courts Compendium . The Open Courts Compendium  is a general guide to court access issues, with...

Press Coverage

Officer-involved Shootings Video - Maine Behind the Curve on Public Access to Information

More than three months after officers were involved in a fatal shooting of a Minot, Maine, resident, the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office and the Office of the Attorney General continue to deny requests to...