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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Elma Proposes a Brand New Kind of Meeting: a "Closed Session" ... Which Is Illegal

When the law doesn't let you do what you want, try to change it. As in: go to the Legislature and try to amend the law so that whatever it is you want to do would now be legal. That's how you do it.

But don't come up with a new term to describe what it is you want to do and then claim that what you're doing is this new thing, not the thing that's illegal.

The City of Elma, realizing that they can't do what they want in an "executive session," has come up with a new term: a "closed session." This new thing, a "closed session," is different than an executive session. Because it's called something different.

Abraham Lincoln used to tell this joke: "How many legs does a dog have if you count his tail as a leg?" When people answered "five," he would say, "No, four. Because you can call a tail a leg, but it ain't."

You can call an executive session a "closed session" but it ain't.

This article from The (Aberdeen) Daily World describes Elma's proposed resolution to create a "closed session."

This proposed "closed session" violates the Open Public Meetings Act. A "closed session" is not even close to being legal.