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(a) In General. An executive session occurs when members of a public body exclude the public from a portion of a public meeting. Executive sessions may be held exclusively to discuss limited matters. Executive session shall be chaired by the President of Council or, in the absence of the President of Council, by the member of those present who has served on the Council for the longest number of consecutive years. Only persons invited by Council to join the executive session may attend. Council may permit anyone it chooses to attend and, likewise, may exclude anyone it so chooses. All items discussed in executive session shall be deemed confidential matters and shall not be discussed with anyone other than the City Solicitor, the City Manager, City staff member(s) or other individuals in attendance during the executive session or another member of Council outside of that session.
(b) Reason. The valid reasons for Council to adjourn into executive session are summarized below:
(1) Personnel. Council may adjourn into executive session to consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion or compensation of a public employee or official, or to consider the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee or regulated individual, unless the employee, official, licensee or regulated individual requests a public hearing.
(2) Property. Council may adjourn into executive session to consider the purchase of property (real property and personal property, whether it is tangible or intangible). Council may also adjourn into executive session to consider the sale of property by competitive bid (real or personal property) if disclosure of the information would result in a competitive advantage to the other side.
(3) Court action. Council may adjourn into executive session with the City Solicitor to discuss pending or imminent court action. Court action is pending if a lawsuit has been commenced. Court action is imminent if it is on the point of happening or is impending.
(4) Collective bargaining. Council may adjourn into executive session to prepare for, conduct or review collective bargaining strategy.
(5) Confidential matters. Council may adjourn into executive session to discuss matters required to be kept confidential by Federal law, Federal rules or State statutes.
(6) Security arrangements. Council may adjourn into executive session to discuss details of security arrangements and emergency response protocols where disclosure could be expected to jeopardize the security of the public body or public office.
(7) Confidential business information of an applicant for economic development. Council may adjourn into executive session to consider confidential information related to the marketing plans, specific business strategy, production techniques, trade secrets, or personal financial statements of an applicant for economic development assistance, or to consider negotiations with other political subdivisions respecting requests for economic development assistance, provided that both of the following conditions apply:
A. The information is directly related to a request for economic development assistance that is to be provided or administered under any provision of Ohio R.C. Chapter 715, 725, 1724, or 1728 or Ohio R.C. 701.07, 3735.67 to 3735.70, 5709.40 to 5709.43, 5709.61 to 5709.69, 5709.73 to 5709.75, or 5709.77 to 5709.81, or that involves public infrastructure improvements or the extension of utility services that are directly related to an economic development project.
B. A unanimous quorum of the Council determines, by roll call vote, that the executive session is necessary to protect the interests of the applicant or the possible investment or expenditure of public funds to be made in connection with the economic development project.
(c) Restrictions on Discussions. There can be no decision-making (actual voting) in the executive session and even when non-excepted matters are so intertwined with matters permitted to be discussed in executive session, the non-excepted matters may not be discussed in private.
(d) Procedure. An executive session must always begin and end in open session. First, there must be a motion that states the purpose for the executive session and the motion must be specific as to the matters to be discussed. For instance, if the purpose of the executive session is to discuss one of the personnel-related matters listed in the personnel exception, the motion must specify one or more of the listed purposes it is going to discuss, i.e., “to discuss the dismissal of a public employee.” It is not sufficient to move for an executive session to discuss “personnel.” But the motion does not need to specify by name the person who is to be discussed. After the motion, there must be a second on the motion. Finally, a vote to adjourn into executive session must be made by roll call vote by a majority of a quorum of the public body.
(Ord. 97-212. Passed 8-19-98; Ord. 02-111. Passed 6-5-02; Ord. 07-47. Passed 6-6-07; Ord. 17-116. Passed 8-15-17.)