Executive Session

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Mark Kindt
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Executive Session

Postby Mark Kindt » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:52 am

Please correct me if my understanding is wrong on this, but I understand that the merits of certain applicants for the At Large council appointment were conducted in Executive Session last night and that certain applicants were excluded from further consideration as a result of that Executive Session.

Were applicants eliminated?

If so, who were they?

It was never my understanding that this would be a non-public process. Should it be?


Dan Alaimo
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Re: Executive Session

Postby Dan Alaimo » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:49 pm

I don't have an answer except to observe this selection is a mix of politics and human resources. So I wouldn't be surprised if some were excluded for reasons that shouldn't be made public legally and morally. I hope that would be the only kind of reason.


"In campaigns it's all about what you say...
"In government it's all about what you do...
"And ths great ones know the difference."
Former NYS Governor Mario Cuomo (1932-2015)
pj bennett
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Re: Executive Session

Postby pj bennett » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:55 pm

At final count, 23 people had applied for the position. Due to not being familiar with the names of all applicants, some members of council stated, that they felt all 23 should be interviewed. Others did not care for the amount of time that 23 interviews would take, and were trying to think of ways to narrow the list.

Tom Bullock voiced his concerns and requested an executive session. After some discussion, and then, even more discussion, they all trooped into executive session. Having had much experience in waiting out these meetings, I left.

I believe, that interviews will begin Saturday.

5 applicants attended the COW meeting and were given the opportunity to talk about themselves. No questions were asked to them.

Was the list narrowed? I don't know, but if it was, I think that that would have to be a public record.

The 5 were Tom Einhouse, Mark Schneider, Jeff Wise, Kyle Baker, as well as....I THINK, Emily Christescu.


Dan OMalley
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Re: Executive Session

Postby Dan OMalley » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:07 pm

Mark,
Entering executive session to discuss applicants was never ideal, but the necessity to do so quickly became obvious to councilmembers last night for reasons mentioned above. Furthermore, entering executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel matters is legally permitted, and has been done on every occasion there has been a council vacancy for as far back as I checked (the last 5 instances or so). 

There were 23 applicants for the vacancy. Council voted in open meeting last night to invite 15 of them to interview this coming Saturday from 9-12 and Monday from 6-7:30. I expect those interviews will be public. 

As always, video of last night's meeting is available on the city's web site. The council vacancy discussion begins around the 51:00 mark. There is a break between 1:54:00 - 2:30:00 when council was in executive session.

- Dan


Dan O'Malley
Mark Kindt
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Re: Executive Session

Postby Mark Kindt » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:44 pm

Thank you, Council President O'Malley for your timely comments and update.


Mark Kindt
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Executive Session

Postby Mark Kindt » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:09 pm

Democracy as a form of government is both cumbersome and time-consuming.

While not directly commenting on Lakewood, all of us should remember that not infrequently in the recent historical past "legal" proceedings and processes were used to exclude minorities from voting or from participation in public service or the enjoyment of full civil rights.

I was not there last night, so I do not know what actually happened.

Five or more applicants made public presentations during the open portion of the council meeting.

Subsequent to the closed portion of the council meeting, some applicants learned that they had been eliminated from the consideration process.

If something else actually happened, I will stand-down from these points.

My point is fairness.

Seems to me that some applicants got fair-play and a chance to show their stuff, while a separate set of applicants were in an instant elimination round and did not know that.

I do not see why this cannot be a fair, open, and transparent process. We are blessed with a wealth of talented applicants.

The individual that is selected will have to run for election to retain their seat. I'm sure that they are prepared for an open and public discussion of their merits as candidates seeking appointment to the At Large vacancy.

If city council cannot do this in a fair, open, and transparent process, or if it is too much work, then they should simply default to a mayoral appointment to the vacant seat.


Dan OMalley
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Re: Executive Session

Postby Dan OMalley » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:38 pm

Mark, 
I believe this appointment process has been quite thorough, fair, and transparent. The process itself was openly discussed and decided upon unanimously by council, and then published. Rather than a finite application, we asked applicants to submit their resume and a letter, wherein they could share whatever information they believed would be illuminating for us.

I have personally remained open-minded about the appointment itself because I wished to give every resident a chance to come forward and apply without my mind being made up in any way. Before yesterday, I hadn't had a single substantive conversation with any of my colleagues outside of public meetings regarding this appointment. Again, I was working hard to remain as open-minded as possible and to have this decision made by the council body. By the end of this process, council will have spent a total of something like 12 hours in open meetings to fill the vacancy. I must take issue with the suggestion that some applicants "did not know" that we might be paring down the list last night; I have publicly said that we might many times.

It is true that the five people who decided on their own to attend last night's meeting had an opportunity to speak, but of course any individual typically has an opportunity to speak at public meetings. I was in no position to deny such a request. For the record, some applicants have spoken at meetings, others have called councilmembers on the phone, requested one-on-one meetings, sent e-mails, or had supporters lobby us on their behalf, all of which is their right. Some applicants who did none of these things were still selected to receive an interview. 


Dan O'Malley
Mark Kindt
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Executive Session

Postby Mark Kindt » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:55 pm

I really appreciate you taking the time to post your perspective and comments. I also appreciate the fact that you and council have proceeded carefully and deliberately with this process.


Stan Austin
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Re: Executive Session

Postby Stan Austin » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:44 pm

I am appreciative of this discussion of process between Council President O'Malley and Mr. Kindt. It indicates to me a fair process. Stan Austin



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