A discussion of the requirements of Iowa's Open Meetings Law as it pertains to closed door sessions of the Winneshiek Medical Center Board of Trustees and all other governmental bodies in Iowa can be found at http://www.iowaattorneygeneral.org/sunshine_advisories/2004/july.html
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says: "Iowa law does not exempt a governmental body from agenda requirements for closed sessions. Posting agendas for closed sessions gives the public an opportunity to:
--Check on why the session is closed. Only a few topics can justify a closed session. Iowa Code sec. 21.5(1)(a-k). The public has an interest in examining the agenda to be sure that the reason for closing the session is among the reasons authorized by law.
--Watch for the vote to close a session. Governmental bodies cannot go into closed session without an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the body, or an affirmative vote of all members present at the meeting. Iowa Code sec. 21.5(1). The public is entitled to hold accountable those members who vote to close a session and assess whether they have complied with the law.
--Watch for final action in open session. Even when a closed session is authorized by law, any final action must be taken in open session in full view of the public. Iowa Code sec. 21.5(3). The public needs to know what topic is under consideration in closed session in order to decide whether to remain at the meeting site and await a possible vote of the governmental body as the "final action" on that topic."
Miller concludes by saying, "Closed session topics must be disclosed on the agenda in advance to give the public an opportunity to assess the reason for a closed session, hold accountable the members who vote to close a session, and decide whether to await a vote as final action."