Charlotte LGBT center votes to open board meetings, reinstate membership structure

Open board meetings to begin in February; Changes follow town hall, community's call for more accountability

by Matt Comer  Editor
Published: December 13, 2013 in News

lgbtcentercharlotteCHARLOTTE, N.C. — The board of directors for the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte voted this week to begin the process of opening their board meetings to the public and reinstate a membership structure, among other changes, according to a summary of a board meeting held this week.

The summary of the center’s Dec. 11 board meeting was released Friday afternoon, detailing several other changes decided upon by the center, which had come under scrutiny for their lack of transparency. On Dec. 4, nearly 100 people attended a town hall in which concerns over openness, transparency and board accountability were discussed. The town hall was planned in response to several commentaries from this writer at his personal blog last month.

The center board voted unanimously to open board meetings to the community. Changes to the bylaws, which currently require closed meetings, will be considered by a bylaws sub-committee and voted on in January, with open meetings expected to begin on Feb. 19. The center noted that the bylaws committee will review “rules and regulations for open meetings,” with the full board approving the new rules in January.

The board also voted to reinstate membership for the organization. The center, founded in 2001, was originally started as member-based organization, but membership was disbanded sometime in 2006 or 2007. A new membership sub-committee will determine the specifics of the new member structure, with potential bylaws changes to be discussed in January.

The board also noted the need for uniformity in its space rental fees. That discussion will be held at the January board meeting.

One new board member, Patrice Shannon, was approved to join the board. Shannon, who was instrumental in organizing the center’s new Autumn Jubilee fundraising dinner in October, will serve on both the bylaws sub-committee and membership sub-committee. She will also serve as a new public relations committee chair; Shannon works as a public relations and brand consultant. Shannon will also serve on the programming and fundraising committees.

Board member Scott Coleman has resigned, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Additionally, the center summary noted that the organization has submitted the necessary information to reinstate its charitable solicitation license with the North Carolina Secretary of State. The license expired in August.

The next board meeting is expected to be held on Jan. 15. It will not be open to the public, unless the board specifically votes to open the meeting that night.

Click here to read the full summary of the center’s Dec. 11 board meeting.

[Ed. Note -- This story was updated to include more committee assignments for new board member Patrice Shannon and to include next month's board meeting date.]