Update: At 16:30 on July 16, 2014 I added the handout given to the mayor and council yesterday. It was sent to me as a result of an open records request.
As expected city council yesterday quashed all attempts to have public discourse on the Jane Shang severance package. Although Michiel Noe had put an item on the agenda for the meeting, on Monday reports trickled out that he had decided to delete the agenda item. That is exactly what happened.
Before the item could be deleted through the revisions of the agenda portion of the meeting, Lisa Turner attempted to discuss the issue during call to the public. She was promptly shut down through procedural processes. Municipal Clerk Richarda Momsen correctly pointed out to Turner that call to the public could not be used to discuss items on the agenda.
Lisa Turner pointed out that the item was scheduled to be deleted during the revisions to the agenda portion. However, she was told she could not discuss the item because it was still on the agenda. A classic egg-before-the-chicken scenario. Turner then discussed the item by focusing on the generalities of the authority of the city manager over employees and the responsibility of the elected officials over the budget.
Cortney Niland, as mayor pro-tempore, moved to delete the item as requested by Noe. After the second and before a vote could take place on the consent agenda and the deletion of Noe’s item; Eddie Holguin asked Noe why he was deleting the item. Noe replied because his questions had been answered. Holguin then stated that his questions had not been answered and asked the city attorney if the item were to be deleted could he put it back on next week’s agenda.
During this back-and-forth between Holguin, the city attorney, Tommy Gonzalez and Michiel Noe it was revealed that an email answering questions about the Shang leave of absence had been sent to all city council representatives from Gonzalez’ office and the HR Department.
Eddie Holguin stated that he and Lily Limon did not receive the memorandum about Shang. It seems that neither Emma Acosta nor Carl Robinson had received it either. This was unclear, though, as neither confirmed it.
Because a motion to delete generally takes precedence, there were several attempts to end discussion by holding the vote. When that proved unsuccessful, Ann Morgan Lilly moved to go into executive session to discuss the item.
When the city representatives came out of executive session, the motion to delete was approved along with the revisions made during the consent agenda portion. There was no other discussion on the Shang matter.
Later in the day, I became aware that copies of the memorandum that was previously sent to city council members were released to members of the media that were present at city council.
As I am not present in the city, I was unable to attain a copy directly at city chambers. I submitted an open records request and will post the document as soon as it is released to me.
Click here to read the Tommy Gonzalez response to Mayor and Council on July 15, 2014 (added at 16:30 ET)