The Difference Between A Pre-Agenda & A Official Meeting

August 10, 2020 Off By Jay Hubbard

When the tax paying citizens of Ramseur voted for a new direction last November, we were advised that we could expect better transparency, more accountability, and less misdirection than we got from the incumbents we voted out. For the most part that’s what we’ve seen, but there are a few things that give some of us more than a little concern. One of those concerns involves pre-agenda or “working” meetings.

Some of our elected officials seem either to not know or to have lost sight of the difference between a pre-agenda meeting and an official meeting.

At a pre-agenda meeting our mayor and commissioners ought to be discussing issues and sharing information they’ll need to make informed decisions at an official meeting. Unfortunately our current governing board has treated their pre-agenda meetings like any other meeting from the start. Issues are discussed, often for the first time, and votes get taken the same night far more often than not.

Obviously there will be times when decisions can’t wait until the next official meeting, but not every month. That’s why special meetings are sometimes necessary. Is it a pain in the butt to do things that way? Perhaps, but it’s the right way, and it’s not like any of our commissioners or the mayor have a forty-five minute commute between a home in Greensboro and the municipal building.

Commissioners, please refrain from taking votes at your pre-agenda meetings. Use these meetings as they were intended, as an informal forum in which you can discuss the details of pending decisions and receive input your constituents.