A board of aldermen in the state is unhappy at statements made by one of the aldermen to the
public. So they have announced to the local press that they are holding a closed meeting after
their upcoming regular session to take him to task.
Just one problem...an alderman is not an employee of the public governmental body. Since
when do boards of aldermen have the ability to hire and fire an alderman? Since when do public
bodies withhold payroll taxes, pay insurance premiums, workers compensation premiums and
unemployment insurance premiums on aldermen?
Short answer: They don't. And a meeting behind closed doors to chastise a member of the board
is a clear violation of the sunshine law. This is NOT a situation where Section 610.021 (3)
Perhaps the alderman being chastised will have something to tell the others when it's time to vote
to go into closed meeting -- like if you do this, you are violating the law. Maybe he can
remind them of penalty for a knowing violation, which I would argue includes being told right
before you vote that if you vote yes, you are voting to violate the law.
Keep fighting the good fight out there