[Ansteorra] Transparency. was CLOSED MEETINGS

Robert Fitzmorgan fitzmorgan at gmail.com
Mon Jan 14 11:29:32 PST 2008

    So there are times when closed meeting are appropriate?  So who gets to
decide if this is one of those times?  I would suggest the people who have
the information and know what is going to be discussed are in a better
position to decide than those who do not know what is going to be
    As someone who has held several offices, there have been times when I
was privy to other peoples private information, and I was obligated to
respect their confidence.  There have been several times when I had to
discuss with other officers things which cast some people in a bad light.  I
prefer to to do that in private when possible.
   Some things have to be handled in a private meeting.  Some things are
better handled in a private meeting.  And some things should be handled
   That being said I feel that secrecy should be used sparingly.  My
experience in the SCA is that some people have a bad reaction to secrecy.
At times when some are feeling distrust of their leadership, secrecy can
often create more problems than it prevents.  It's always a judgement call.

Robert Fitzmorgan

On Jan 14, 2008 10:40 AM, Richard Yeager <chuymonstre at yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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.
> Cuan
"If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much
of a day."     John A. Wheeler

Fitzmorgan at gmail.com
Yahoo IM: robert_fitzmorgan

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