Executive session necessary

Published 6:55 pm Monday, June 1, 2009

In your editorial in [Wednesday’s] paper, you took the council to task for having an executive session, and you purported to know the reason, substance and issues discussed in the closed session.

Since the meeting was closed, was not discussed in the open, and no report given to the media, you do not know what was discussed.

I will assure you and the citizens of Selma of this: Should I ever request an executive session, it will be within the realm of legal reasons as defined under the Alabama Open Meetings Act; and it will be necessary for the best interest of the city of Selma and our citizens.

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Without disclosing what we are bound to keep privileged, I will say that it is an ironic twist that the need for trust, truth and transparency are at the core of the issue. More than anything, I have only wanted the people I represent, the people of Selma, the city employees, the people with whom I am honored to serve on the Council and the Mayor to know where I stand and where I am on any issue.

Since that sentiment may be lost from time to time by some of those involved, there may be instances when executive sessions may be necessary. I believe that they should be used minimally, if at all. I do believe, however, that such sessions should be used when necessary rather than just “letting thingsgo” because people are uncomfortable with the facts, or for any other reasons they may have.

We have a mountain of things to work through in addition to this. This is a difficult time for us; but every one of us knew there would be issues like this to face. And face them we will — together. Even when we disagree. Even when we become frustrated with each other.

Because we love Selma, and it takes all of us to make Selma be its best.

Susan Keith