Letter: The value of closed government meetings

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Out of Sight: City Council, Mayor and Staff Hold Closed-door Meetings, Sowing Distrust,” Jan. 25, Asheville Watchdog via Xpress:]

For years I was key staff to county commissioners in another state. In my experience, closed sessions like this are important for briefing the elected officials on background research done by staff and having the elected officials identify a need for further information before going public.

Our elected officials consider a wide range of issues in their official actions; behind each of those issues is an extensive trove of data, information and policy options. Time and space to sift through all that is an important step toward making informed and appropriate decisions.

— Bette Meyer


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3 thoughts on “Letter: The value of closed government meetings

  1. indy499

    Bette, you are right of course, but we have a collection of loony zealots here who think someone elcted them and they can watch over us all.

  2. Voirdire

    Well thank god the check-ins are over… you know for sure something nefarious was going on behind those government closed doors from the get go! I am the only one who has the sinking feeling that the woke far left is as every bit inane as the MAGA far right? …..thank you Bette for your letter… so on spot… and so now completely out of step here in woke and kicking Asheville…. sigh.

  3. From Asheville Watchdog: City ending closed-door meetings

    “By breaking into groups of two Council members plus the mayor, Asheville’s check-ins do not constitute a quorum and therefore, according to the city attorney, are not official meetings…open-government advocates say they appear DESIGNED to evade the intent of the open meetings law.” [emphasis added]

    From Asheville Watchdog: City Council check-ins are out

    “The Asheville City Council officially ended its regularly scheduled, private ‘check-in’ meetings Tuesday, a long-awaited step that advocates say will bring more transparency to city government.”

    Letter: The value of closed government meetings

    “closed sessions like this are important”

    This is what ‘council committees’ are for. They also have to abide by open meetings laws. Even closed meetings have to abide by my open meetings laws: general meeting minutes are to be recorded and provided to the public once the purpose of the closed meeting no longer obtains.

    Open Meetings and Other Legal Requirements for Local Government Boards
    by Frayda S. Bluestein

    “The open meetings law requires public bodies to prepare ‘full and accurate minutes’ of all meetings and a “general account” of closed sessions.”


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