N&O still miffed about closed sessions

I sure do wish the News and Observer would let the Raleigh City Council do its due diligence in hiring a city manager. Saturday’s front-page teaser about a closed session last week made me mad:

nando-front-page-council-blurb-2013-09-07

McFarlane holds closed City Council session

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane presides over a non-public session that raises questions about compliance with the state’s open meetings law.

Um, no it doesn’t. It pertained to the city manager hiring process and the mayor was correct in calling for a closed session.

I’ll say it again: making job candidates public puts them in a precarious position with their current employers. Raleigh has had dozens of candidates respond to the city manager listing. Each of them might be fired from their current job if word got out that they were looking.

I’ll say another thing again: if the media expects city officials to respect the parts of Open Meetings that benefit them, they must also respect the parts of Open Meetings which allows city officials to conduct their personnel procedures in private.

Hiring a city manager is the most important decision a city council can make. The city manager is only one of two direct reports to the council. Why can’t the News and Observer leave the city council alone and let them pursue the best person for the job?

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