Must the minutes of a municipal governing body meeting be published within a certain period of time following the meeting?
With one exception, the answer is no.
State law does not specify when the proceedings of common council meetings must be published in the official newspaper as a class 1 notice. The League legal staff has suggested in the past that the minutes of a common council meeting should be published within a reasonable time after the meeting.
Villages that have designated an official newspaper or have a qualifying newspaper published within the village must similarly publish the minutes of a village board meeting within a reasonable time after the meeting.
Villages that post public notices, however, must post the minutes of board meetings within a time specified by the statutes. State law provides that if posting is used, the notice must be posted within one week of the event. Wis. Stat. sec. 985.02(2)(c). One possible way to read this provision is that it requires villages to post the minutes of a board meeting within one week after the meeting. However, this interpretation doesn’t take into account the fact that typically after the minutes of a meeting have been prepared by the clerk, they must be approved by the board at its next meeting. Therefore, we think the most sensible reading of this provision is that villages that post village board meeting minutes must post such minutes within one week after the minutes have been approved by the board.