(Atlantic) A closed session that was scheduled following a list of agenda items was postponed at Wednesday night’s Atlantic city council meeting was tabled because the person to be discussed had not requested it.
The meeting began with the city council addressing and approving several projects and it was during the public forum part of the agenda that the confusion began. Several people in the audience stood up and spoke in favor of Atlantic City Administrator Doug Harris thinking the closed session was about his job status. Atlantic City Councilman Dana Halder said that wasn’t the case…
“I don’t think anybody has implied or said that Doug Harris’ job is in jeopardy,” stated Halder.
Barb Lehman: “Well it shouldn’t be because he is doing a bang up job,”
Dana Halder: “I agree.”
Jeff Lundquist of the Atlantic News Telegraph asked the city council if the person being discussed had asked for a closed session as stated under the Iowa open meetings law, Mayor Jones said, “no he had not.” That when City attorney Dave Wiederstein recommended the closed session be tabled. Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones says the closed session had nothing to do with firing Harris.
“The meeting had nothing to do with firing him, it was just a message from the council to him on getting on the same play book too,” said Jones. “We want to get everybody together and discuss it and go to him. We will have a closed session in two weeks and go through the same process.”
Two weeks ago Atlantic developer Don Sonntag pulled the plug on a $2.1 million housing project claiming there had been a constant effort by Harris behind the scenes to derail his project. During the same meeting Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones stated that he did have a problem with one of Harris’s comments that “not all development is good for the city.”
The next city council meeting is slated for April 17.
April 4, 2013