[Ansteorra] Ansteorra Digest, Vol 21, Issue 67

Faelan Caimbeul faelancaimbeul at gmail.com
Mon Jan 14 17:46:39 PST 2008

> 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.
> JP
I can tell you this from working with a very large non-profit here in 
Dallas, you MUST have open meetings. We were required to maintain 
meeting minutes and make them available for anyone who asked for them 
for the entire history of our organization (nearly a century at this 
point). You cannot close them from the members or interested parties. 
Corporations have that luxury (to and extent) but non-profits (even 
non-profit corps.) don't.

If you have to discuss sensitive or "inconvenient" subjects there, then 
so be it. Think about it this way, if a rape or murder trial is by law 
required to be held in open court, what possible thing could be so 
sensitive that the SCA needs to hold a closed session? Sure, it might 
embarrass a few people, but well, tough. They shouldn't have gotten 
themselves in that situation before.

As for it being inconvenient for people to ask questions, you just need 
to make more time for those questions to be asked. Our director had much 
the same complaint, but the simple fact is, those people in attendance 
have a right to ask, and the panel had the duty to respond honestly and 
fully. Simply put, those members are the reason for the organization's 
existence, not an inconvenience to it.

So if the only reason that the two meetings are to be combined (and 
therefore locking everyone out) is simply the convenience of those 
attending, that's not good enough reason. Those in the meeting will 
simply have to be inconvenienced. After all, their job is to serve the 
members, not the other way around.

Keep in mind, I'm no lawyer, I'm just relating what I've learned in my life.


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