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Deleting closed session meeting minutes


Guest Kristin

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Hi. I was recently elected to my local school board. I have a quick question about voting to approve previous board meeting minutes. At every meeting, the board votes to delete closed session meeting minutes as per the open meetings act. These meetings minutes are at least 18 months old. According to the open meetings act, the minutes of the closed session meetings are supposed to be made public if they no longer contain sensitive material or deleted if they do. My question is, is it appropriate for me to vote to delete these minutes when I have no idea what the minutes contain because they took place before I was on the board? Thank you.

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Hi. I was recently elected to my local school board. I have a quick question about voting to approve previous board meeting minutes. At every meeting, the board votes to delete closed session meeting minutes as per the open meetings act. These meetings minutes are at least 18 months old. According to the open meetings act, the minutes of the closed session meetings are supposed to be made public if they no longer contain sensitive material or deleted if they do. My question is, is it appropriate for me to vote to delete these minutes when I have no idea what the minutes contain because they took place before I was on the board? Thank you.

Yes as you are a member. You could also take a look at the minutes so you know what is in them.

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I was recently elected to my local school board.

I have a quick question about voting to approve previous board meeting minutes.

At every meeting, the board votes to delete closed session meeting minutes as per the

open meetings act.

These meetings minutes are at least 18 months old.

According to the open meetings act,

the minutes of the closed session meetings are supposed to be made public if they no longer contain sensitive material or deleted if they do.

Is it appropriate for me to vote to delete these minutes when I have no idea what the minutes contain

because they took place before I was on the board?

"Open meeting act"?

Are you asking a question about compliance with your open meeting act?

Are you asking a question about compliance with Robert's Rules of Order?

We cannot answer questions about anybody's open meeting act.

If you are asking about Robert's Rules of Order, and

if you asking if a new board member can vote on things (deleting material) where the new board member never was involved in the first place, then the answer is:

• No rule in Robert's Rules puts restrictions on "new" board members vs. "old" (more senior) board members.

• If the oldest (most senior) member of the board can vote, then the newest member of the board can vote.

• The fact that the business is very ancient, is not relevant to the issue of "Can a new board member vote on board issues?"

• If it is true board business, then the board members can vote, irrespective of their seniority of sitting on that board.

Bottom line:

You need not have "been there", at the ancient meeting, to amend or rescind whatever was adopted so, so many years ago.

E.g., your 1861 policy of granting seating privileges to Pony Express riders is a policy which, if your board adopted it in 1861, then you, in 2011, can rescind it, even though you were born well after the extinction of the Pony Express. :)

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Do I have a right to see or hear those minutes?

Yes.

"Any member has a right to examine the minutes of the society at a reasonable time and place, but this privilege must not be abused to the annoyance of the secretary. The same principle applies to the minutes of boards and committees, their records being accessible to members of the boards or committees but to no others." (RONR 10th Ed., p. 444 ll. 8-13)

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Hi. I was recently elected to my local school board. I have a quick question about voting to approve previous board meeting minutes. At every meeting, the board votes to delete closed session meeting minutes as per the open meetings act. These meetings minutes are at least 18 months old. According to the open meetings act, the minutes of the closed session meetings are supposed to be made public if they no longer contain sensitive material or deleted if they do. My question is, is it appropriate for me to vote to delete these minutes when I have no idea what the minutes contain because they took place before I was on the board? Thank you.

I have never heard of an open meetings act that allowed the deletion of any minutes, executive session or otherwise. It sounds like exactly the opposite of the usual intent of such laws. RONR certainly has no rule that allows minutes to simply be deleted. So, for a legal opinion on how to comply with the Act, consult your board attorney or an independent source such as your state School Boards Association, who probably have lawyers on call for such questions.

As for the question of your right to vote on this, yes, you do have that. You also have the right to see what you're deleting before it's deleted. (And maybe even afterward?)

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