Final tallies – 141 closed meetings between Sept 2018 and May 2023, 57 months. Almost 2.5 per month.

At the 126 meetings with votes, there were 408 votes.  Of those, 276 (67.6%) were properly conducted, 132 (32.4%)  were illegal.  Council acted illegally nearly one third of the time.

Some of the illegalities were because the meeting itself was illegally in camera.  Thus any vote was improper.  Some were where council took serious positions on matters, like agreeing to binding letters of intent, which should have been in the open.  Some were votes to give council-like authority to the CAO, to engage contractors and specialists.  Some were votes to choose specific individuals for jobs or other appointments.  Some were votes to stop negotiating or to cancel an agreement.

In all the cases where votes were taken illegally, the overarching concern is that ‘decisions’ of council must be in public.  On most of the occasions listed, council made the decision in camera.  And it is not legal to then go through the motions of holding another vote to ‘ratify’ that decision later in a public meeting.  Rubber stamping a decision made in camera is not legitimate.

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