If the Winneshiek Medical Center Board of Trustees took votes August 3rd of last year about the financial settlement with Mayo Health Systems and the termination of its contract with Doug Gross' law firm, why hasn't that news come out until now?
That's because the action was taken following a closed session of the board meeting that gave no indication any action would be taken in open session.
The closed session was not that unusual. Decorahnews.com has discovered that out of the 20 regular meetings of the Winneshiek Medical Center Board of Trustees from March 31st of 2010 to January 4th of 2012, 15 of them involved closed door sessions—or three-quarters.
In one more case a closed door session was scheduled but not held.
Of the 14 closed door sessions for which decorahnews.com has been able to get information, the total time spent in closed door sessions was 901 minutes. That's a total of over 15 hours of time, or an average of 65 minutes per closed door session.
All 16 of the closed door sessions were notified to the public with the same language: "Closed session strategic planning pursuant to (Iowa Open Meetings Law)." None of the 16 public notices gave any indication of what topics would be covered in closed session and none of them gave any indication of whether the Board of Trustees would reconvene into open session to take action.