[Ansteorra] Transparency. was CLOSED MEETINGS

Richard Yeager chuymonstre at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 14 08:40:28 PST 2008

It is obviously not about transparency if the proceeding are closed.  As I indicated earlier.  It may be more convenient for the officials involved.  And the end product may be "presented" to the public later.  It is still a very poor business practice for a non-profit organization.  You can announce that no questions or comments will be allowed from non-GOofS members.  Even have a "Sargent at Arms" to enforce the no questions rule.  But at least the process is held in the open where all of the discussion and arguments can be seen.  Otherwise you will always have the suspicion of "What were you hiding?"

I have heard from several officers (Baronial and Kingdom) lately talk about not holding some discussions publicly because "things will get out of hand".  Will some people go off on weird tangents or possibly bog things down with what the officers feel are irrelevant?  Possibly.  Hell, Likely.  That can still be handled diplomatically and things can be kept functioning.  Is it more of a pain for the people holding the discussions or making the decisions?  Absolutely, at least initially.  But it may save other problems in the long run.  Other than the reasons previously stated, I can think of no reason that ANY discussions are held behind closed doors.  Even if most of us have no choice but to accept the decision made by others in those discussions.

We may be trying to re-create a medieval setting where sovereigns and landed nobility could make decisions affecting the population at large, without concern about informing the populace of the decision-making process.  The reality of the situation is that we are a member-supported organization.  As much as the crowns and nobles might wish, they cannot have irritating elements of the populace sanctioned for disagreeing with them.  Convenience, expediency, and officer comfort aside, as members we have a right to know what is being discussed and why.


Jean Paul de Sens <jeanpauldesens at gmail.com> wrote: Honestly, in my experience it's not transparency as much as simplicity that
makes it benificial to have these meetings closed.  The GOofS talk and
correspond with each other quite a bit, but there is some face to face stuff
that needs to be discussed.  An hour before the day *is* enough time to get
it done, but not if we are asked a lot of questions by people who are
interested in delving into the details. The things that are discussed are
the same one discussed at the meeting later in the day.

If state law (Texas or Oklahoma) does require open meetings, I'd be
interested to know.  My research a decade or so ago in OK makes me think
that you can have closed meetings so long as you are not the government.
There are a buncha caveats, but that was the basic.



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