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Closed session disagreement kicks of Esky council meeting

ESCANABA — A disagreement on whether it was justified to discuss boards, commissions and committee appointments kicked off Thursday night’s Escanaba City Council meeting.

The council had two items listed on its agenda that were earmarked to be discussed in executive session. One was a presentation by City Attorney John Bergman to update the new council on pending foreclosures to two properties. The item that caused disagreement, however, was a request for council to go into closed session — at the recommendation of the city attorney — to discuss boards, commissions and committee appointments.

Councilman Ronald Beauchamp said he felt the issue should be discussed in open session because the subject matter didn’t fall within issues that can be discussed in closed session under the Open Meetings Act.

Bergman explained he advised a closed session be held because he would be providing a legal opinion on the matter to the council.

Council did approve its agenda as presented — which included discussion of both the foreclosures and appointments in closed session. Later in the meeting, the council did go into closed session on both issues.

In other business, council:

– approved the city council meeting schedule for 2022.

– approved the annual Employee Assistance Program services in the amount of $5,400. The service provides counseling services to city employees and is in its third year.

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