If secretive meetings are a mainstay of Republicans in Raleigh, perhaps it's because they learned their lessons from the good ol' boys running the show in many of North Carolina's western-most counties. That seems like a reasonable conclusion to draw from this solid piece of investigative reporting from Carolina Public Press.
In the 15 counties where closed session numbers were made available, boards of commissioners held a total of 294 closed sessions, the investigation showed. Only fragments of these back-room conversations ultimately go public, in procedures that seem arbitrary at times, our investigation of county board meetings found. For 75 percent of the closed meetings, the minutes remain sealed and away from public scrutiny.
There are some legitimate reasons for closed meetings, reasons which must be announced in advance of the closed meeting. But judging from this article, many county commissioners seem to think that what they do is none of the public's business. Hence the steady stream of graft, back-scratching, favoritism, and nepotism that comes from secret discussions.