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Forum staff reports, Published September 01 2011

Melroe quits board of Cass County Historical Society

WEST FARGO – Former Cass County Historical Society Board President Syl Melroe resigned Tuesday from the board.

Melroe’s decision came after Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem issued the opinion that historical society board members violated state open meeting and open records laws after holding three unannounced meetings in late December and January without proper public notice. During one of the meetings, the board voted to terminate Bonanzaville Director Steve Backson.

Stenehjem also said the board held an illegal meeting March 22 after it was closed to discuss hiring a new director.

“It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I think it’s best for Bonanzaville,” Melroe said in a news release. “I certainly didn’t set out to break any rules. Decisions needed to be made quickly, and in the process, we apparently didn’t follow proper procedure. My intention then was to act in the best interest of Bonanzaville, just as I am now.”

Troy White, who begins as executive director of Bonanzaville full time today, called Melroe’s immediate resignation unfortunate “because Syl really cares a great deal about Bonanzaville and has contributed so much.

“But I respect him for the decision he made,” White said in the release.

White said open meeting and records training for all board members and employees will be provided in the future.