Charlotte LGBT center finally releases bylaws, financial documents to public, but more questions still need answers

UPDATE: Center will host ‘open forum’ on Dec. 4, 7 p.m. More info…

Archive: All coverage of the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte

Responding to continuing community pressure, The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte today created a new section on their website and has publicly posted the center’s bylaws, the group’s tax-exemption determination letter and the center’s most recent Form 990, the annual tax return it files with the IRS.

I, along with others, have long asked for this information to be made public. Specifically, it has been months since I and others asked for copies of the bylaws.

And, because the bylaws are now public, we have an answer to at least one question I and others have been asking: Are center board meetings open to the public?

Quick answer: NO. And, that secrecy is completely by purposeful design.

The bylaws state: “Board meetings shall be closed to the public unless the Board determines that no sensitive material is to be discussed. In that event the Board will go into public session.”

For an organization that has battled so many feelings of mistrust and a lack of transparency and accountability, you’d think that meeting regulation would be the other way around — that meetings are always open to the public, unless the board determines to go into executive session. Public session should be the default, not executive session.

Another question answered: How are board members chosen? It’s a completely self-perpetuating board. Though, I figured that’d be the case. I’m not surprised: No community input for community leadership at the community center. Darn.

Other questions yet to be unanswered:

  1. Will the center change its bylaws and open their meetings to the public?
  2. Will the center schedule a public town hall and allow the many community members who have concerns to speak directly to the board?
  3. How does the center propose to solve its funding problems and reduce the percentage of their total expenses (as high as 6o percent) they are currently spending on occupancy expenses like rent and utilities?
  4. Does the center have any response — any response at all whatsoever — to any of the issues thus far discussed on this blog or in social media this week? Their operations director is aware of each of these concerns and questions as they have been addressed by community members. Such concerns could be addressed in a town hall, but in the absence of an as-of-yet scheduled town hall what does the center have to say about the number of people who have had negative experiences with them?

UPDATE: Center will host ‘open forum’ on Dec. 4, 7 p.m. More info…

Archive: All coverage of the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte

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