Entry for April 16, 2008 - City Attorney (below). Council Holds Secret Meetings With McWhinney
The Loveland City Council is meeting with McWhinney this week in secret to discuss a 'Land Swap' for land near target and Loveland's new sports park on each side of highway 34.
In order to make the meetings to discuss public business in private "legal" the city manager and attorney are orchestating a little circus act of rotating only two councilmembers in each presentation so they can claim there was never a "public meeting." Fort Morgan's City Council recently settled an allegation over similar evasions of Colorado Public Meetings Laws for $30,000.
Apparently, private attorney and Councilwoman Carol Johnson decided not to take City Attorney John Duval's advice and participate in the circus by being rotated into a meeting she knew her other colleagues would be discussing the same issues in series with the same people. We have also been informed that Councilman Gutierrez also opted out of the seemingly illegal meetings with Chad McWhinney and his staff to give council direction on the proposal.
- The first meeting was today at Centerra likely to avoid city staff knowledge of the details of the meetings. This leaves the question for Mayor Pielin and Councilmembers Solt, Heckel, Clark, Skowron, Rousey, and Klassen - did you think the public wouldn't find out?
- Kent Solt, an attorney who was recently elected, in part, due to his protest over secret meetings with McWhinney involving the Trolley decision, is seen by some as turning his back on his campaing promises if he also particiapates in these secret meetings.
The City Council needs to understand it is supposed to be a Meeting In Public and not simply staging Public Meetings.