According to My San Antonio, the four boards that oversee the Alamo (you know, that place in Texas that serves as a shrine to those who fought to take Mexican land) do not want "the eyes of Texas" upon them (University of Texas, 1903). Say what you say: the folks who have agreed to look-out for the best interest of the public don't want the public to know their business? Yes indeed this is the case, at least according to the story. And interestingly enough (given the location), the State Legislature says this preference of the boards is not in the best interest of the public.
I concur. First what secrets should these boards have that the public shouldn't know? Second, if these board members so much value their privacy the should opt to not serve - I am sure their money would be just as welcome. But really folks, if volunteers choose to take-on the leadership of and responsibility for a nonprofit, they must remember they do so on behalf of the public. Nonprofit board members are surrogate owners or a nonprofit, not THE owners. In exchange for tax exemptions, a board gets to pursue its mission. But these tax exempt dollars are tax exempt IN THE PUBLIC's interest. Secrecy has no room in this business. So Alamo board members, open the shutters, for if you don't Texans will.
AUSTIN — Members of the powerful Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday harshly criticized Land Commissioner George P. Bush over a complex web of nonprofit entities overseeing the Alamo they say keep operations of the revered shrine improperly shrouded in secrecy.
A bipartisan group of senators -- including Sens. Joan Huffman, Kirk Watson, Lois Kolkhorst and Paul Bettencourt -- suggested to Bush that he open the records and meetings of the four now-private entities to ensure they are fully accountable for taxpayer funding.
The groups are Remember the Alamo Foundation, the Alamo Trust, the Alamo Endowment and the Alamo Master Plan Committee.
Watson said that legislation approved earlier this year by the Senate "would have made what you're doing illegal" in keeping records and meetings secret. He suggested the department may be trying to protect those who serve on the nonprofit boards.
Bush told the committee that the secrecy was requested by unspecified lawyers as a way to protect the board members from liability.
Several senators challenged that assertion, noting that hundreds of other state boards function well with full public disclosure.