No closed session next week to discuss Atlantic City Administrator’s performance


April 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones today (Friday), backed-off his earlier comments the City Council would be entering into a closed session during their meeting next Wednesday to discuss matters pertaining to City Administrator Doug Harris. Jones said the revelation during last week’s meeting that the Council would be in violation of Iowa’s Open Record’s Laws, by not consulting with Harris and asking if he wanted the meeting, caused him to rethink how personnel matters should be discussed.

Jones said “After the April 3rd meeting I consulted with the City Attorney, and it was determined that closed-session discussions over personnel matters should be limited to annual performance evaluations or disciplinary matters. The City Attorney thought is was appropriate for him and the Mayor to personally discuss with (Harris) the employment issue, and that a statement could be placed in the personnel file. There will be no need for a public or closed discussion on the matter.” Jones went on to say he admits “To having a had differing opinions with Doug Harris…in some areas of City business and philosophy.” He said “Doug and I have had discussions regarding our differences. Those discussions have been civil and constructive. In addition, we have since covered the issue that was to be discussed at the April 3rd meeting, and look forward to an effective working relationship moving forward.”

Jones also admitted that there was an unannounced, unpublished meeting of the City’s Personnel and Finance Committee on March 28th, nearly a week prior to the April 3rd meeting. He said the meeting was held to discuss if there was any reason for proceeding with any further action concerning a personnel matter. Jones said “There was no decisions were made…to get rid of anybody at all.” He said “The topic was, we got some issues we need to discuss among the committee…the whole idea was to get it in front of the Council and see what’s goin’ on and have things come out…”