On Monday night Branson Alderman were asked to consider recording closed sessions for historical review. Missouri's Sunshine Law allows the board of alderman to go into closed session for real estate, legal issues and staffing issues.
Branson's City attorney said there were 17 other reasons Branson's elected officials were allowed to enter discussions in a closed session, we've found none the city has used besides the three previously mentioned to date.
Accusations of Sunshine Law violations were an integral part of one alderman's campaign strategy. The problem is, "How do we know if a violation occurred in a closed session ?". The violations suggested during the campaign season were related to property negotiation during the land acquisition stage of the Branson Landing project. Though the "behind closed doors" session discussions no longer provide a threat to city business, these records are not available for historical review.
Mayor Raeanne Presley asked Branson's city attorney to look into the issue, Alderman Bob McDowell questioned the logistics of releasing such data.
The FBI and NSA release information after a period of time. Here's the recommendation - or a starting point.
Legal - 5 year hold
Land - 3 year hold
Personnel - 10 year hold
The audio documents could be released early by a super-majority of the board 5/7 or held longer by the same standard.
Illinois, led by Senator Barrack Obama requires geo-political entities to record closed sessions