Council's closed meeting on alley issue raises questions

Published: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 01:28 PM.

“But the placement of the ad — was that ‘reasonable notification’? ‘Reasonable’ means it has to be sufficient to inform those who are interested in attending. Only a court could make that determination.”

City attorney Jerry Miller has been negotiating with Adams regarding ownership of the alleyway on the east side of Florida A&M University’s downtown building. When the city gave the former Alatex building and land it occupies to FAMU for its pharmacy school, it was assumed the alley was included in the parcel.

Adams contends her family legally retained the alleyway to service nearby Main Street businesses. Service vehicles regularly used the alleyway to make deliveries to the businesses.

Locked doors

Because City Hall’s doors were routinely locked when the building closed Thursday evening, only residents who arrived in advance could attend the meeting’s public portion. Cal Zethmayr, a WAAZ-FM reporter, arrived after the meeting began and couldn’t open the doors.

Doors are locked as security, Councilwoman Robyn Helt said. When Zethmayr sent a text message to Mayor David Cadle to inform him the public couldn’t attend the meeting because of locked doors, Roy unlocked the doors after the closed session concluded and the meeting’s public portion resumed.

“An executive session is not open to the public,” Helt said.

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