January public vs. private meeting time

The meeting minutes for January 24th were not approved until March 20, and then not posted publicly for a number of days, which explains the lateness of this summary. In January, the CBE trustees again met far more in private than in public. In total, they met for 24 hours and 41 minutes.

Public time for January: 6 hours, 18 minutes (or 25.5% of the total board meeting time)

Private time: 18 hours, 23 minutes (or 74.5% of the total board meeting time)

This hardly reverses the trend that we have previously highlighted, where trustees are spending more time in private than public during the current school year. August: 100% private, September: 52% private, October: 73% private, November: 77% private, December: 65% private, January: 75% private.

Breakdown by meeting:

January 9 and 10: These two days were private sessions, attended by Linda Dawson and Randy Quinn of the Aspen group. It’s notable that two trustees voted against holding this meeting behind closed doors. Trustees met from 9:07am to 3:33pm on January 9, and again from 9:08am to 4:44pm on January 10. They spent 14 hours and 2 minutes meeting in private. The resulting motion was: “THAT the Board of Trustees refers the revised draft governance polices for Board consideration at the January 17, 2012 Board Meeting,” so it’s clear that the time was spent developing the new governance policies.

January 17: Public meeting time was from 5:02pm to 7:40pm (2 hours, 38 minutes), after which the private session lasted from 7:47pm to 9:01pm (1 hour, 14 minutes). The trustees made no public motions after moving out of the private session, so it’s impossible to determine what they discussed.

January 24: Public meeting time was from 4:58pm to 9:01pm (with two recesses of 12 minutes and 13 minutes) for 3 hours and 38 minutes. Private time was from 9:16pm to 9:24pm, which is 8 minutes. Again, no motions were passed at the conclusion, but Trustee Bazinet declared a pecuniary interest during the private session. Further, the meeting was not concluded, but “adjourned to the call of the chair.” There are no minutes publicly available for the conclusion of the meeting.

January 31: This was a regularly scheduled in-camera (private) session. Before moving in-camera, 2 minutes were held in public to approve the changes to the meeting schedule and locations (3:00pm to 3:02pm). The private session lasted from 3:09pm to 6:08pm (2 hours, 59 minutes). Again, the meeting didn’t conclude, but adjourned to the call of the chair. There are no minutes for the conclusion.

Once again, we’ll remind you that this list includes only meetings that are posted online and does not include working group meetings, attended by all trustees. Our goal by publishing this information is to shine the light on the volume of work being done by trustees behind closed doors.

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