[Ansteorra] Transparency. was CLOSED MEETINGS

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Mon Jan 14 10:53:14 PST 2008

Cuan wrote:

> Sir Morgan Buchanan <morganbuchanan at hotmail.com> wrote: So you CAN think 
> of reasons why the doors should legitimately be closed....
> Are you then saying you are choosing to believe this isn't one of those
> times?  I'm at a loss here...  Everyone seems to be saying they can see
> there are reasons for closed door meetings, and nobody knows for certain
> that "this" isn't one of those times.

> I am not aware of our Kingdom having paid employees who will have 
> personnel issues.  I will gladly stand corrected if we do.  That 
> eliminates one reason that the discussion should be closed.

Personnel issues can involve people who don't get paid.  You know that we 
have officers, and you know that those people can have issues.  The fact 
that the officers are not paid doesn't mean they have no right to privacy.

In fact, one thing that mnight (or might not) happen in a financial meeting 
is discussions of allegations of embezzling, misfeasance, or mere financial 
incompetence from some local treasurer.  OF COURSE there are personnel 

> Are we being sued?  That is two.

I don't know.  But if we are, and if there is a need to keep it private, 
then they WILL NOT TELL US.  That's what "keep it private" means.

> Are we negotiating to buy some property or issue a contract to some firm 
> for some business?  That is three.

All the time.  We rent sites, buy equipment, etc.

> Those are the only reasons I can see (which I did state up front).  All 
> the officers have to do is say:  We are discussing (insert one of three 
> issues here).

Of course, before they say that, they must say, "Richard Yeager alone has 
the right to decide what the standards for kingdom business meetings are, 
and all officers must constantly monitor his discussions on elists and 
reply immediately in his approved format."

This is nonsense, and you know it.  This elist is *not* an official channel 
for consulting the officers.  If you want them to reply to you, go to the 
kingdom webpage, find their email addresses, and send them a polite 
question.  Then wait a couple of days for an answer.  The kingdom officers 
are not at your instant beck and call based on your elist participation, 
but they do answer emails sent to them officially through the official 
channels given on the website.

>  No one gave any indication that the closed session was for one of these 
> reasons.

If there is a reason to keep the meeting private, then by definition that 
will *not* be discussed in public.

> What I have heard so far is:

Correction: you have heard *nothing* so far.  The kingdom seneschal and 
treasurer aren't active in this thread at present.  At most, you've read 
other people's speculations and suggestions that you consider the 
possibilty that the people who know things you don't might know something 
relevant that you don't.

> 1.  It is more convenient for the officers to not have to deal with the 
> members during this discussion.
> and
> 2.  I (as a member of the populace) don't need to know all of the working 
> of our officers/society.
> Those I do not accept as legitimate reasons to close the session.

Well, that settles that.   Except for one inconvenient fact -- I (as a 
member of the populace) don't accept your veto over kingdom decisions.

> If you don't want to be involved or informed, fine.  Don't be.

Insult received.  In fact, I do try to stay informed, and I have discussed 
some of the recent issues with the relevant officers.

> If you (as an official) do not want to be inconvenienced by having people
> observe the process, then that is unfortunate.  As has been pointed out,
> there are ways to "remind" the populace that they may observe a session
> but not interrupt as to avoid disrupting the business at hand.

As has also been pointed out, there are often good reasons for private 
meetings that you might not be aware of.

> As to several of the earlier posts, I have NEVER claimed that nefarious 
> plots
> are being hatched, that our officials are engaged in misdeeds, etc.  That
> does not mean that their discussions and decisions are flawless.

Nobody else has EVER claimed that their decisions are flawless, either.

>  Having open meetings allow the populace to better understand the process
> that went into a decision (and potentially avoid acrimonious feelings
> afterward).  It also helps the people making the decisions from becoming
> too insular and losing sight of who they are making decisions for.

If you actually feel that way, and want to affect the kingdom processes, 
get off the converstaional list and send emails to the officers.

Everything posted here, from me, Morgan, you, and everyone else, is just 
random conversation.  I do, in various ways, try to affect kingdom policy. 
None of those ways involve posting to this list.

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin 

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