I. STATUTE -- BASIC APPLICATION.

The purpose of New York State's Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law, Article 7, §§ 100-111, is set forth in its legislative declaration:

It is essential to the maintenance of a democratic society that the public business be performed in an open and public manner and that the citizens of this state be fully aware of and able to observe the performance of public officials and attend and listen to the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of public policy. The people must be able to remain informed if they are to retain control over those who are their public servants. It is the only climate under which the commonwealth will prosper and enable the governmental process to operate for the benefit of those who created it.

N.Y. Public Officers Law, § 100 (McKinney 1988).