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Executive Minutes Approved in Open Session


Guest J. Shoemaker
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If a previous meeting's Executive Session's minutes are voted on and approved in the Open Session of the current meeting, do those Executive Session minutes now become record for the open minutes for that meeting?  Meaning June's ES minutes are approved in July's Open Session.  If they do become part of July's OS record, how should they be recorded?

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I'm not sure what you mean by "...do those Executive Session minutes now become record for the open minutes for that meeting?". The minutes of the open session should include a statement that 'the minutes of the executive session held on [date] were approved'. The contents of the executive session minutes would not be included in the open session minutes.

In addition, if the rules in RONR were followed, the executive session minutes should have been approved in executive session. However, since this does not appear to have occurred, I would say that by reading or distributing the executive session minutes in open session and voting to approve them, the assembly has agreed to lift the secrecy of the executive session.

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2 hours ago, Bruce Lages said:

However, since this does not appear to have occurred, I would say that by reading or distributing the executive session minutes in open session and voting to approve them, the assembly has agreed to lift the secrecy of the executive session.

I would suggest that the assembly has agreed to lift the secrecy of the executive session with respect to the contents of the minutes, but that details of the meeting which are not included in the minutes would remain secret. The minutes presumably contain, for instance, the wording of the main motion(s) considered in executive session and whether those motions were adopted or lost, but they would not contain how particular members voted or what they said in debate.

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7 hours ago, Bruce Lages said:

I would say that by reading or distributing the executive session minutes in open session and voting to approve them, the assembly has agreed to lift the secrecy of the executive session.

 

5 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

I would suggest that the assembly has agreed to lift the secrecy of the executive session with respect to the contents of the minutes, but that details of the meeting which are not included in the minutes would remain secret. The minutes presumably contain, for instance, the wording of the main motion(s) considered in executive session and whether those motions were adopted or lost, but they would not contain how particular members voted or what they said in debate.

I agree with Josh Martin's comments.  I do not consider that approving the minutes of an executive session while in an open or public session lifts the secrecy of the executive session completely.  At most, it would be the contents of those minutes which are no longer secret.

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Thank you all for the feedback!  I just joined an HOA Board and so far it seems like they play fast and loose with how the RONR rules are applied.  Where would you recommend me looking in RONR to find specific language to support the conclusion that we agreed to lift the secrecy of executive session by voting on the minutes in open session?

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14 minutes ago, Guest J. Shoemaker said:

Where would you recommend me looking in RONR to find specific language to support the conclusion that we agreed to lift the secrecy of executive session by voting on the minutes in open session?

Nowhere, because it's not there. In any event, I believe most of us would agree that approving the minutes in open session lifts the secrecy of the minutes, but not the secrecy of everything that occured in executive session.

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4 hours ago, Guest J. Shoemaker said:

Thank you all for the feedback!  I just joined an HOA Board and so far it seems like they play fast and loose with how the RONR rules are applied.  Where would you recommend me looking in RONR to find specific language to support the conclusion that we agreed to lift the secrecy of executive session by voting on the minutes in open session?

“The minutes, or record of proceedings, of an executive session must be read and acted upon only in executive session, unless that which would be reported in the minutes—that is, the action taken, as distinct from that which was said in debate—was not secret, or secrecy has been lifted by the assembly.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 96)

This wording suggests to me that approving the minutes in open session lifts secrecy regarding the contents of the minutes, but does not lift secrecy for the executive session in its entirety.

Edited by Josh Martin
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