Mayor: Memorial decision should be made publicly

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Much of the discussion at yesterday’s Memorial Citizens’ Commission meeting was based on a misunderstanding.

Chairman Bob Lally and Commission member Martha Barton believed that Mayor Rivera wanted the group to make its final decision in closed session, and keep that decision under wraps until the Nov. 22 city council meeting.

That perception is incorrect, Rivera said.

“I told them I didn’t see any way they could meet in closed session,” he said. “I said that I knew city council would hear about it at the same time the press and the public did. It’s unavoidable. It’s impossible that they wouldn’t.”

For his part, Lally said he was relieved that the commission wouldn’t have to act behind closed doors.

“It really lifts a weight from my shoulders,” he said. “We can continue to be transparent and open – and make this decision publicly.”

Lally said City Attorney Pat Kelly advised the group they could have discussions in closed sessions, narrowing down the choices from the five remaining. But he wasn’t certain the group would meet in closed session.

“I am going to talk to the commissioners and see what they want to do,” he said. “Just because we can meet in closed session doesn’t make it right necessarily.