‘True leaders admit … their errors’

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dear Editor,

I am concerned The Charlotte Gazette’s May 31, article titled “Policy on minutes changes” may not have communicated the full story.

The title implied the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors has a policy choice of whether to record or not record minutes. The fact is the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires minutes for the work sessions. The choice is whether or not to comply with Virginia law. The board choose not to comply.

The article indicated the board has agreed to take minutes during all future work sessions. The board can only agree to something by taking action by vote in an open meeting. At what meeting did the board take such action and where are the minutes for that meeting?

The article discussed a legal citation outside of FOIA not applicable to the meetings in question. Extraneous discussion clouds the key point that the board has violated FOIA and now refuses to take corrective action.

The quote from the county purchasing agent relayed the county administrator’s position that minutes were not taken because no action was taken during the work sessions. The Virginia Code provides no such exemption for when no action is taken.

It is difficult to understand how a long term county administrator would not know and follow the basic FOIA requirements for minutes. 

It is most difficult to understand why the county administrator and supervisors, once made aware of the violation, did not take prompt corrective action to prepare and approve minutes for the five meetings in question. 

We all make mistakes. True leaders admit and correct their errors.

Terry Ramsey

Charlotte Court House