In typical fashion for the current City Council, the brief virtual open session on Monday, Oct. 25 at 9 a.m. was not broadcast on the City of Greensboro web page or on the city’s YouTube channel where the agenda stated that it would be broadcast.
However, the virtual meeting was broadcast on the Greensboro Television Network (GTN), which probably met the letter of the Open Meetings Law. However, if someone relied on the agenda for information about the City Council meeting and went to the city’s webpage, all they saw was a notice, “Council is in Closed Session,” even though at that time the City Council was actually in a virtual open session.
The agenda for the Oct. 25 meeting states, “Greensboro City Council meetings are available via https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/government/city-council/council- meetings, a live stream will be on the city’s YouTube page, at https://www.youtube.com/user/CityofGreensboroNC, the Greensboro Television Network (GTN) live on Spectrum channel 13 with a digital cable box, NorthState channel 31, and AT&T U-verse channel 99. GTN is also available on the Roku streaming platform by going to “add channels” and searching for Greensboro Television Network. Lastly, GTN can be streamed live on the City’s website.”
The live stream of the Oct. 25 City Council meeting was not available on the city’s YouTube page, but there was no notice that the City Council was in closed session.
In North Carolina public bodies are required by law to open their meetings in public. After the meeting is called to order in public, then a motion is made to go into closed session stating the specific exception or exceptions to the Open Meetings Law that allows the public body to meet in a session closed to the public.
The City Council is not supposed to discuss any topic in closed session that is not stated in the motion.
In this case, the main reason for the closed session was for a personnel matter, which in this case is interviewing applicants for the job of city manager.
After the motion to go into closed session was made by City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter, Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “We will be doing a series of interviews.”
The interviews, according to Vaughan, are of applicants for the job of Greensboro city manager. The City Council only has two employees that it hires and can fire, the city manager and the city attorney.
Vaughan also said that the City Council planned to adjourn in late afternoon or early evening and added, “I don’t expect we will be making any comments at that time.”
The City Council is also scheduled to hold a closed session on Thursday, Oct. 28 beginning at 1 p.m. to continue the process of selecting a new city manager.