CCVB Employs Lengthy Closed Determination

November 19, 2012

CCVB, Columbus, MS, Events, News

The Columbus-Lowndes County Convention & Visitors Bureau board of directors held their monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 19, and, immediately after calling the meeting to order, entered into “closed determination” to decide whether an executive session was warranted.

Board member Bernard Buckhalter called for the closed determination to discuss what he said was a personnel and legal issue.

Closed determination is a mechanism by which public bodies determine if an executive session – in which only board members and the subject of the discussion are allowed to be present – is necessary and justified.

After 18 minutes spent in closed determination, Board President Dewitt Hicks emerged from the board room to inform the public and media that the board had determined that an executive session was not necessary and that the board was returning to open session.

The length of the closed determination session might cause some members of the public to speculate why it took 18 minutes for the board to decide not to go into executive session and whether the board’s discussion exceeded the parameters for which a closed determination session is intended.

Once the meeting was, once again, opened to the public, the board addressed the items on the agenda with only a modicum of controversy.

At the recommendation of Executive Director Nancy Carpenter, the board voted to approve the project clearance reports of the Artesia Days Festival, Seventh Avenue Festival, and the Crawford Cotton Boll Festival, thus allowing the balance of the previously approved grants to be disbursed to the sponsoring organizations.

The board also acknowledged receipt of grant applications from several festival organizations. Mike Law of the Memphis BBQ Network National Invitational Contest was the only event representative to make a presentation to the board. These grant application will be voted on at the December board meeting.

The only other controversy that arose during the meeting was when Carpenter, during her CEO Report, requested that funds be provided to two outside organizations. Board member Harvey Myrick spoke in opposition to the requests being issued, pointing out that they had not been listed as specific agenda items. Board President Dewitt Hicks suggested that the requests be tabled until the December meeting, when they would be placed on the agenda.

The Real Story Staff Report

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