Public Agency Board Meeting Agendas: Adding an Item After the Agenda Has Been Posted

What happens if a public agency Board meeting agenda has been posted, and an important matter arises after the agenda is posted? Agencies are allowed to take action on important, time-sensitive items to ensure compliance with the Brown Act. Posting a matter to the agenda can be done, however there are requirements that need to be considered.




When can a matter be added to an already posted agenda? A matter can only be added when the agency becomes aware of the matter after the agenda has been posted and as long as the specified statutory requirements are met. This is important to know as sometimes people and organizations may have items that arise shortly before a meeting, and quick action is needed. 


When this happens, it’s important to communicate the situation with legal counsel to ensure the statutory requirements are met. This is essential as legal counsel can let the agency know if adding the items to the agenda is possible without risking a Brown Act violation.




What are the statutory requirements that need to be met? There are two different statutory requirements. The first is a need for immediate action on the item. The second is that the agency became aware of the item after the agenda was already posted.


Being sure these requirements are met is critical as a failure to meet those requirements may result in a Brown Act violation. 




The last step to adding an item is Board approval. At least two thirds of the Board, which is four directors on a five-member Board, must make findings that the statutory requirements are met – that is, that there is a need for immediate action and the need to take action came to the agency’s attention after the agenda was posted. These findings are important, as many agencies think that a simple majority is necessary to add the item, or that the Board can simply add the item to the agenda without making those required findings.


Lastly, assure that proper Board action is taken at the meeting to add the item to the agenda and that the minutes reflect that action. This will avoid any claims of failure to comply with the Brown Act’s requirements.




In conclusion, a matter can be added to an already posted agenda. However, there are requirements and approval that needs to happen for this to take place. Our Public Agency team can assist and give advice when these issues arise and can provide proper Brown Act training.

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