1.17 Closed Meetings
(Adopted 11-7-1988; Revised 1-2005)
The Board of Trustees will comply with RSMo sections 610.010 – 610.030 regarding open meetings, records, and votes. All meetings, records, and votes shall be open to the public unless closed as authorized by law. The Board reserves the right, as provided by law, to conduct closed meetings, including any records or votes, to the extent allowed under the Missouri Sunshine Law.
Procedures (Revised 3-8-2021)
1.17.1 Authorizing a Closed Meeting
Public notice of closed meetings shall be given in accordance with Board policy and law. A majority of a quorum of the Board shall vote to close a meeting, in accordance with law. The reason for holding the closed meeting, with reference to the specific statutory exemption relied upon for closure and the roll call vote of each member on the question of holding a closed meeting, shall be announced publicly at an open session and entered into the minutes. Only business directly related to the specific exemptions may be discussed or voted upon at a closed meeting.
In the event a motion is made to close a meeting, record, or vote and a Board member believes that the motion would violate the Missouri Sunshine Law if passed, the Board member may state his or her objection to the motion before or at the time the vote is taken. The Recording Secretary will enter the objection in the minutes. Once the objection has been made, the Board member shall be allowed to fully participate in the meeting, record, or vote even if it is closed over the member’s objection. If the Board member voted against the motion to close the meeting, record, or vote, the recorded objection and the vote is an absolute defense to any claim filed against the Board member pursuant to the Missouri Sunshine Law.
1.17.3 Meeting Location
The Board shall only close that portion of the meeting facility needed to house the Board in closed session. Members of the public must be allowed to remain in the meeting facility so that they may attend any open meeting that follows the closed meeting.
The Board members and employees in attendance are honor-bound not to disclose the details or discussions of the closed meetings, records, or votes. College District employees who fail to keep closed information or closed meetings confidential may be disciplined or terminated. The Board may publicly admonish Board members who fail to keep closed meetings, records, or votes confidential in violation of this policy.
1.17.5 Reasons for Holding Closed Meetings
Unless otherwise determined by the Board, any meeting, record, or vote pertaining to the following topics shall be considered a closed meeting, closed record, or closed vote:
- Legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving the College District and any confidential or privileged communication between the College District or its representatives and its attorneys. However, any minutes, vote, or settlement agreement relating to legal actions, causes of action, or litigation shall be made public upon final disposition of the matter voted upon or upon the signing by the parties of the settlement agreement, unless, prior to final disposition, the settlement agreement is ordered closed by a court, except that the amount of any monies paid by the College shall be disclosed.
- The lease, purchase, or sale of real estate by the College District where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the amount to be received or spent by the College District. Any minutes, vote, or public record approving such a contract shall become available to the public upon execution of the lease, purchase, or sale of the real estate.
- Hiring, firing, disciplining, or promoting of particular employees by the College District when personal information about the employee is discussed or recorded. However, any vote on a final decision to hire, fire, promote, or discipline an employee shall be made available to the public, along with a record of how each member voted, within 72 hours of the close of the meeting; provided, however, that any employee so affected shall be entitled to prompt notice of such decision during the 72-hour period before such decision is made available to the public.
- Proceedings involving the mental or physical health of an identifiable individual.
- Scholastic probation, expulsion, or graduation of identifiable persons, including record of individual tests or examination scores, except that such records will be open to inspection by the student(s) and their parent(s), guardian(s), or other custodian(s) as permitted by law.
- Testing and examination materials until the test or examination is given for the final time.
- Welfare cases of identifiable individuals.
- Preparations on behalf of the College District or its representative for negotiations with employee groups, including any discussion or work product.
- Software codes for electronic data processing and documentation thereof.
- Competitive bidding specifications until officially approved or published.
- Sealed bids and related documents until the bids are opened; sealed proposals and related documents until all proposals are rejected; or any documents related to a negotiated contract until a contract is executed.
- Individually identifiable personnel records, performance ratings, or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment. However, the names, positions, salaries and lengths of service of College District employees shall be available to the public.
- Records protected from disclosure by law.
- Scientific and technological innovations in which the owner has a proprietary interest.
- Records relating to municipal hotlines established for reporting abuse and wrongdoing.
- Confidential or privileged communications between the Board and its auditor, including all auditor work product. However, all final audit reports issued by the auditor are to be considered open records.
- Existing or proposed security systems and structural plans of real property owned or leased by the College District where public disclosure would threaten public safety.
- Records that identify and would allow unauthorized access to or unlawful disruption of the configuration of components or the operation of a computer, computer system, or computer network of the College District if released.
- Credit card numbers, personal identification numbers, digital certificates, physical and virtual keys, access codes, or authorization codes that are used to protect the security of electronic transactions between the College District and a person or entity doing business with the College District.