Council's closed meeting on alley issue raises questions

Published: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 13:28 PM.

CRESTVIEW — A closed Crestview City Council meeting to discuss pending litigation on a downtown alleyway’s ownership has raised questions about the meeting’s unusual advertisement and council members’ reluctance to discuss its content.

Advertised for Jan. 3, 2012 in the back pages of Wednesday’s Northwest Florida Daily News, the Crestview City Council met in closed session Thursday evening to discuss legal action against resident Barbara Adams and Florida A&M University.

Less notification

Two copies of the meeting agenda reportedly appeared on bulletin boards in City Hall.

Loretta Scardina, City Clerk Betsy Roy’s administrative assistant, said she was instructed not to send a meeting notification usually emailed to local media and other interested residents in advance of city council meetings.

Update: Mayor David Cadle said he was not the one who instructed the city against informing the media about the meeting, and he doesn't know who did.

Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, a Florida government-in-the-sunshine watchdog organization, said the meeting’s unusual notification did not appear to constitute an open meetings law violation.

“I doubt the fact that they screwed up the date, on its own, would be a violation of the law. We’re all doing that this week,” Petersen said.



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