Workshops & Training


MMA’s Managing Freedom of Access Requests Workshop sponsored by Maine Municipal Association – 3/31/20

Location: Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Dr., Orono, ME 04473
Time: Registration: 1:30-2:00 pm / Workshop: 2:00-4:30pm
Cost:  MMA Members: $45 | Non-Members: $90
Presenters: Attorneys and staff from the MMA Legal Services and Communication and Educational Services Departments; Jay Feyler, Manager, Town of Union

Who Should Attend:

This timely workshop is aimed at helping municipal staffs, “Public Access Officers” and elected and appointed officials understand Maine’s Freedom of Access Act and fulfill FOAA training requirements. The workshop provides an overview of the FOAA, including open meeting requirements, why FOAA requests are filed and how to handle them properly. (Qualifies as Maine-required FOAA Training. This session does not explore laws about criminal investigations and records.)

Course Information:

Does our board meeting need to be held in public? When can the board enter executive session? How do we respond to a record request from a citizen? Or a serial requester, or a journalist? Maine law requires that all “public proceedings” occur in public and that FOAA requests be handled properly, fairly and in a timely manner. This two and a half hour workshop is designed to help municipal officials at all levels comply with the FOAA and make good decisions about FOAA requests, even if the requests grow in number.


Topics Include:
•    Maine’s FOA Law: An Overview
•    Open meeting requirements
•    Executive sessions
•    Receiving Requests 
•    Designating a Point Person (or Two) 
•    Timing and Deadlines
•    Fulfilling requests, redacting, denying
•    Tracking and Processing
•    When E-mails Are Involved
•    Repeat Requestors
•    Your Mental Health 
•    Understanding the Media

 

Certification:

This course applies to the Maine Town, City and County Management Association Certification Program as 2.5 credits in the Elected Relations category.

 

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