Council's closed meeting on alley issue raises questions

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

The locked doors and unusual notification of the meeting were not a “plot” to exclude the public or media from the meeting, she said.

“Before the executive session, there were members of the public waiting outside the door to the council chamber,” Helt said. “The doors were open prior to going in there, but once we convened in the executive session, nobody is permitted to be in there. As soon as the executive session ended, the city clerk unlocked the doors to City Hall and we reconvened in a public meeting.”

The meeting’s only public portions were the call to order, invocation, Pledge of Allegiance and roll call, Councilman Tom Gordon said.

“Then, everybody gets out,” Gordon said. “Even Betsy Roy had to leave. We had our discussion and had a candid conversation.”

The meeting was held under Florida statutes permitting a voting body to conduct a confidential discussion with its legal representative, Petersen explained.

As advertised, just Miller, Cadle, council members and a court reporter — whose transcript of the meeting will become public upon the litigation’s conclusion — attended, Gordon said.

Helt and Gordon said Miller advised them not to comment on the meeting’s non-public content.

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