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Closed Council Session Approved By Meeting Investigator

It appears County Council did nothing wrong when they went into closed session at the end of April. Meeting Investigator Gregory Stewart made the ruling after Councillor Pat Sobeski filed a complaint back in May stemming from the Closed Session Report on the agreement to provide compensation for unforeseen costs and obligations incurred of $160,000 to Oxford Gardens and whether it met regulatory requirements. Sobeski says whenever you spend tax payer dollars you do it in a public way, not behind closed doors. "In this case, we spent money to hire a recruiter which council had approved a year before in open session but we also spent $160,000. I have no problem with them getting $160,000 but if you're going to spend tax payers money, you have to do it in open meetings." "If you were to ask me questions about that I can't tell you anything about it because the debate took place in closed session. So I could tell you maybe what my comments were but I couldn't share with you the comments of other councillors because it was done in closed meeting and that's not responsible. That's not transparent when you're spending tax payers money. That was the main point. It seems to be lost maybe on some of the councillors but it's important." Sobeski says he is disappointed the investigator only spoke to him once. "He never came back and gave me the courtesy of saying 'here's what I'm going to report' because I would have pointed out the different rulings that have come from the ombudsman's office but again, it's a closed meeting investigator, he is limited in what he can do. He can make recommendations, he can't force recommendations so from that point of view, I think he did point out there are flaws in our system."

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