Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hiding In "Closed Session Meeting..."

Transcription from 1:17:24 to 1:22:36
Buffalo City Council Meeting November 13th 2012
Click Here to View Video

Alderman Stafford: "I make a motion that we go in to... pursuit to... section 610.21 closed meeting for litigation.

Alderman Horn: "I have some discussion on that. It's my understanding that that is in regards to allegations that the city is violating some Sunshine Laws. Mayor Mead specifically requested that I contact the Attorney General and get them involved in educating us because we have a disagreement in regards to an issue that I feel is a violation of the Sunshine Law. Mayor Mead also mentioned that he welcomes scrutiny so I would request that the board leave the meeting open and allow the citizens to be a part of this discussion."

Citizen: "May I ask, is there a legal action against the board?"

Mayor Mead: "No."

Citizen: "Is there a cause of action against the board?"

Mayor Mead: "Well, possibly and that's..."

Citizen: "Is there a cause of action against the board?"

City Attorney: "I'm going to stop this right now. Under 610.021 subsection 1, I'll read it for everybody. Actually I'll read the whole provision. Except to the extent disclosure is otherwise required by law, a public governmental body is authorized to close meetings, records and votes to the extent they relate to the following. Subsection 1, Legal actions comma, causes of action or litigation involving a public governmental body and any confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body or it's representatives and it's attorneys."

Alderman Horn: "Yes, but it is not a requirement, it's permitted."

City Attorney: "That is correct."

Alderman Horn: "I am requesting that the board allow the audience to participate..."

Alderman Stafford: "I have a motion... I have a motion on the board... I have a motion on the floor."

Mayor Mead: "I'll call for a second and we'll go into..."

Alderman Horn: "I didn't make a motion I was requesting..."

Alderman Rieschel: "I'll second Jess's motion."

Mayor Mead: "Ok we have a motion and a second and I'll open the floor for discussion."

Alderman Horn: "If we indeed do welcome scrutiny and want to be transparent, I do not see any reason we cannot allow the citizens to stay here while we have this discussion."

City Attorney: "I'll say I'm objective and I represent the city but as your attorney if we discuss this in open session, nothing that we say, nothing that I say to you is privileged as far as attorney client privilege goes and I would make your decision as you see fit but I just have to advise you that anything that we discuss in open session will not be privileged."

Alderman Horn: "If we've done nothing wrong then we should have nothing to hide."

Mayor Mead: "Well I agree with both Kristie (Alderman Horn) and Travis (City Attorney). I will state that every time I meet with a client un-equivocally I explain attorney client confidentiality. From time to time they will insist that their mamma sit there with them. I always, depending on the nature of the case urge them to not have mamma sitting there with them. It creates a little bit of tension and a little of hindrance to my client being open and forthright, forthcoming with me.  So I certainly understand the attorney client confidentiality and I think that's important."

Citizen: "Can I ask what the catalyst of the closed session is for those of us who are not aware of what is, what the closed session is even about. I'm assuming it's about the Sunshine Law. How did it come about at this month's meeting as opposed to last months meeting before that? Has something happened?  Has something been addressed? It's my understanding you contacted the Attorney Generals office?"

Alderman Horn: "Yes."

Citizen: "So is that the discussion or has something happened to make this... I guess I don't understand why there is a closed session or what is or could possibly be discussed."

Mayor Mead: "If there are allegations that we need to discuss with our city attorney the Sunshine Law allows us to go into a closed meeting."

Citizen: "I'm assuming that there has been allegations that there's been..."

Alderman Stafford: "We could be going in to buy a piece of real estate."

Alderman Horn: "But we're not because it states litigation..."

Alderman Stafford: "But we do not have to announce the reason."

Alderman Horn: "You have to announce the..."

City Attorney: "You only have to announce the subsection for which it is."

Alderman Horn: "Yes and it says litigation."

Mayor Mead: "Is there anymore discussion? I'll call for a vote."

Jim (Alderman Piper): Aye

Wayne (Alderman Rieschel): Aye

Kristie (Alderman Horn): NO

James (Alderman Ferrell): Aye

Jess (Alderman Stafford): Aye

Mayor Mead: "We'll go into closed meeting."


During the closed session I was sworn at, yelled at and threatened. I am unable to share what was discussed in the closed session.

One last point that I wanted to shine some light on...

During the minutes and bills section of the open meeting I asked why we were paying a city employee for mileage.  You can view this discussion in the same video time stamp 14:13-16:45

I was told there was no vehicle available for this employee to use so we had to pay him mileage to use his personal vehicle.

Later in the meeting it was mentioned that there was an extra truck the street department was not using and was available anytime. Time stamp 40:15 - 46:15 If you go to 46:15 you will hear Alderman Piper state that the department head told him the truck was available at any time.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had been there . I don't know why they make this so difficult for everyone to understand . they speak double talk