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Rincon council member wants to bring more openness to meetings

POSTED: July 28, 2011 5:41 p.m.

Rincon City Council members may discuss soon what they choose to discuss more frequently in open session.

At the suggestion of council member Reese Browher, council members will hold a workshop soon on what talks they may want to have in the public portion of their meetings that are now reserved for their executive sessions.

“Anything I can keep out in the public, I want to do,” Browher said. “I want to look at keeping as much as we can from going to executive session.”

By law, governing bodies can conduct executive sessions, away from public participation, on matters such as personnel, property acquisition and sales and litigation. Browher would like to see the city council discuss as much of its personnel issues openly as possible. He also noted that executive session serves a purpose for sensitive issues.

“If we’re in a lawsuit or in a negotiation, there might be some information that could hurt us,” he said.
Browher made his suggestion with the public in mind, he said.

“We need to be transparent,” he said. “Not that we haven’t been. But if we can take one more step, I’m all for that.”

Council member Levi Scott, the mayor pro tem who presided over Monday night’s meeting, said the council is governed by state and federal laws on what it can and cannot disclose in public forums.

“I understand we’re scrutinized a lot of times for what goes on,” he said. “We don’t want to take any rights away from our employees.”

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