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Council meeting private in Columbiana

November 14, 2012
The Review

COLUMBIANA Residents expecting to offer their suggestions on who should be the next city manager were not given that opportunity during a special council meeting Tuesday night.

The roughly 25 people present waited one-and-a-half hours as council members, Mayor David Spatholt and Municipal Attorney Daniel Blasdell met in executive session.

City Manager Keith Chamberlin did not attend the public or private meeting, although he is still acting manager until the end of December.

Spatholt said Chamberlin didn't give any notice he would not be at the meeting, but he believed his absence was so that he would not interfere with any discussion pertaining to who would replace him.

City officials were notified last week that Chamberlin was resigning from the position he has held the last 20-and-a-half years.

About a half-hour into the closed door session that began at 5:30 p.m. Police Chief Tim Gladis was invited to participate and returned roughly 42 minutes later.

Exactly one minute before 7 p.m. council, Spatholt and Blasdell returned from the private meeting and Spatholt moved to adjourn, but was interrupted by Councilman Bryan Blakeman.

Blakeman said he would like to give the public a chance to speak since they had attended the meeting for that purpose and were left waiting so long.

Spatholt said there wasn't time for the input since the planning commission meeting was scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. and there were people waiting for that meeting.

The meeting was then adjourned with no action taken and no comment on what was discussed.

Blakeman apologized to a group of people who had waited to speak and said he was "shocked" that they weren't given the opportunity. "That wasn't right," he said.

The group filed out quickly, with only about three remaining for the planning commission meeting.

Blakeman said he didn't believe they intended to be in the closed door meeting for that long and that while he believed prior to the meeting action could be taken that evening, the general consensus at the close of the executive session was to wait.

Spatholt said that although the position has not yet been formally advertised some applications have already been received.

He said more information will be forthcoming in the near future.



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