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The corporate counsel for the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. has informed the agency’s board that it can’t call the emergency board meeting requested today by Mayor Jerry Sanders and three council members who are pushing for the resignation or termination of agency President Carolyn Y. Smith.
In the e-mail, attorney Regina Petty also warns board members against discussing personnel matters pertaining to SEDC employees. She notes that SEDC board Chairman Artie M. “Chip” Owen has scheduled a closed session “personnel agenda item” for the next full board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.
Here’s a copy of the e-mail, which was sent to board members at 3:33 p.m.:
Dear SEDC Board Members,
Some of you may have already learned of the attached request for the resignation of SEDC’s President. Mr. Owen has scheduled a closed session personnel agenda item for the regular Board meeting on July 23, 2008. In my opinion, the extant circumstances and any personnel action which the Board may determine to take do not clearly meet the Brown Act’s definition of an emergency which is “a work stoppage, criplling [sic] activity, or other activity that severly [sic] impairs public health, safety, or both, as determined by a majority” of the Board members. Gov’t Code sec. 54956.5. Both a special meeting or personnel action to be considered by the Board require 24 hours written notice to the media, the affected employees and the public. Gov’t Code sec. 54956 and 54957.
Please reminder that the Brown Act requirements continue to be in effect at to all SEDC Board business and you should refrain from discussing Board business among yourselves outside of the meeting to best avoid the possibility of a serial meeting. In addition, the Board in its role as an employer should be mindful of the privacy rights of SEDC personnel and you should refrain from public comment on personnel matters in advance of the meeting.
The agendas for the Board meeting on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 and for the Personnel & Budget Committee Meeting on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 must be published by the end of the day. If you have agenda topic requests for the Board meeting or wish to provide a reference to staff for factual information to be reported at the Board meeting, please direct your communication ONLY to me. Agenda topic requests must be received
by 4:15 p.m. today.
Very truly yours,