Debate Magazine

I'm a Hypocrite--Reason for Closed Session

By Kelly058
In a recent story in Patch http://fredericksburg.patch.com/articles/closed-session-cleaves-council-considering-courts my name came up regarding a closed session for the parking deck. Some clarification is in order as well as a comment or two on what happened last night.
In regards to the parking deck the city received a proposal from Donely's Inc. for a five story pre-fab deck. No Request for Proposals (RFP) had been sent out by the city. After a lively public discussion, including public meetings, the scope of the project was changed to a smaller structure and design more in keeping with the character of downtown. At that point the city entered into contract negotiations with Donely's for a different project than what was proposed.
In regards to last night's closed session Council was being presented comparisons of the court facility proposals based on a public RFP which included required specs, and which had been presented in public sessions by the applicants which also included costs. It was made clear that there were no negotiations going on.
The only legitimate reason provided by the City Attorney to go into closed session was that there would be information presented regarding financial statements of the companies involved and information on claims and outstanding litigation involving the applicants. That was the only information that should have been considered for a closed session. There was no legitimate reason given for not holding the majority of this presentation in open session.
And let's look at the reasons given by Council members for keeping the rest of the meeting closed to the public:
--Council needs to talk behind closed doors before they openly debate big decisions like this. No contracts are to be awarded we are just going to ask questions.
--It is the responsibility of Council to use its authority to make decisions like this. We owe it to the taxpayers and the people who elected us to make significant decisions and get the best deal possible.
--Matt Kelly voted to go into closed session for the parking garage project.
Does anyone agree that these are legitimate reasons for a closed session?
There was no legitimate reason given for not holding the majority of this presentation in open session. A different situation that what occurred with the parking deck.
As the process for the parking deck has now been brought up I would invite anyone to search the FLS archives not only on the parking deck, but also the downtown hotel, and schools and compare the amount of public participation involved in those projects as opposed to what is now happening with the court process.
The city had a rancorous, and sometime contentions dialog with the public which resulted in an award-winning garage /hotel and state of the art schools. Those who have to foot the bill have a right to participate in the process. Council is going out of its way to avoid public dialog in regard to the courts. Why?
How much public involvement is enough?

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • “This Diet Has Been Nothing Short of Life Changing for Me and My Family”

    Tyler has been able to truly turn his life around with a low-carb diet. Here's how he massively increased his energy levels and lost 100 lbs (45 kg) in only... Read more

    5 hours, 41 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • New Keto Meal Plan

    Our popular low-carb meal-plan tool gives you everything you need to succeed on low carb. Meal plans, recipes and shopping lists - no planning required! Adjust... Read more

    5 hours, 50 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Vegan Rocket Pesto Pasta!

    Vegan Rocket Pesto Pasta!

    I harvested a lot of wild rocket in our garden hey, what to do with it? I knew that I made a previous non-vegan rocket pesto that was so delicious. Read more

    6 hours, 7 minutes ago by   Sophies Foodie
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES, VEGETARIAN & VEGAN
  • Party Saturday

    According to the calendar, summer started this past week. According to Tajikistan, summer started last month. And so by now, a month into summer, it is hot. Read more

    6 hours, 14 minutes ago by   Sherwoods
    FAMILY, PARENTING
  • Sunday Bliss Is..

    Sunday Bliss Is..

    ..baking these adorable red berry and almond blondies in this understated sunlit kitchen. Join the Read more

    6 hours, 45 minutes ago by   Myparadissi
    HOME, INTERIOR DESIGN
  • 5 Reasons NOT To Start With A Non-Profit Business

    Reasons Start With Non-Profit Business

    A common misconception I often hear in the startup world is that non-profits are easy and safe, since they don’t have to pay taxes, and they don’t have to make ... Read more

    7 hours, 24 minutes ago by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • A Day at the Marvellous West Woodhay Gardeners' Fair

    Marvellous West Woodhay Gardeners' Fair

    I received an invitation the other day to go to the West Woodhay Gardeners' Fair; a quick check on the map and I thought it would make a nice day trip. I happil... Read more

    8 hours, 12 minutes ago by   Ozhene
    GARDENING, HOME