Details sought on closed meetings

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Chatham-Kent's new closed session chair is seeking a report clarifying procedures for in-camera council meetings.

Wallaceburg Coun. Carmen McGregor entered a successful notice of motion Monday to request the chief administrative officer provide details on who, other than council and the clerk, can sit in on a closed session and why.

“There's a lot of new faces around the (council) table,” she said after Monday's meeting. “It's just a good way to start for all of us.”

McGregor asked that the report also include the repercussions should a breach of confidentiality occur by either councillors or staff.

She said council only discusses matters in closed session if absolutely necessary, listing personnel matters and potential economic development deals as examples.

“We're competing with many other municipalities to try and bring business to this community and there's just a lot of deals that hinge upon that confidentiality until it gets to a certain point,” she said.

McGregor said she's heard public concerns about closed meetings, but believes being transparent about the process should help address that.

“There's really very few things that can actually go into closed session,” she said. “So there might be some better understanding (of) who is actually sitting behind those closed doors.”

trevor.terfloth@sunmedia.ca

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