Editorial: Government transparency can always improve

Closed sessions are simply a fact of life for governmental bodies. If you haven’t witnessed a board going into closed session, you simply haven’t attended enough meetings.

Lately, the Rowan County Commission’s agenda contained one closed session a week. The most recent ones concerned the former Salisbury Mall, now West End Plaza. Before that, there were a couple of closed sessions pertaining to hiring Aaron Church as the new county manager.

As for the Salisbury Mall — discussed in closed session to decide whether to appeal the denial of a special use permit — the reasoning for a closed session is murky. As justification for the closed sessions, the county pointed to attorney-client privilege. The section of the open meetings law most relevant to the situation states: “The public body may consider and give instructions to an attorney concerning the handling or settlement of a claim, judicial action, mediation, arbitration, or administrative procedure.” Continue>>>