Home > Elected Officials, Flagstaff, New Media, Northern Arizona, Politics > Meeting Notes Subject To Arizona Open Meeting Law

Meeting Notes Subject To Arizona Open Meeting Law

By Elisha Dorfsmith

The other day I was surprised to learn that personal notes taken by elected and appointed officials at meetings where public business is conducted are subject to Arizona open meeting law. If a public records request is filed, those notes must be provided.

The Flagstaff City Clerk and Legal Department have confirmed this:

“Arizona courts have recognized three alternative definitions of a public record: 1. A record made by a public officer in pursuance of a duty, the immediate purpose of which is to disseminate information to the public , or to serve as a memorial of the official transaction for public reference; 2) a record required to be kept, or necessary to be kept in the discharge of a duty imposed by law or directed by law to serve as a memorial and evidence of something written, said or done; or 3) a written record of transaction of a public officer in his or her office, which is a convenient and appropriate method of discharging his or her duties and is kept by him or her as such, whether required by law or not.

These definitions encompass notes taken by a public officer at a meeting where public business is conducted.”

So the next time you see a public official jotting down notes or typing away on their iPad during a public meeting, you have a right to file a public records request for that information.



  1. David A. Skopec
    March 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Thank You! Thats good to know. Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2013 14:55:39 +0000 To: davidskopec@live.com

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