Fraser Clarifies Scope of Planned Closed Session on Council Conduct

Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser is defending the Town Council’s intention to hold a meeting closed to public scrutiny tomorrow.

Earlier this week, the council announced plans to convene behind closed doors to “discuss the performance of one or more Council members as it relates to the Council’s adopted codes of conduct and the risk of liability to the Town,” according to Town Attorney Sally Hankins.

When asked about the theme of that closed session on Thursday, Fraser said it was planned as a strategy session for council members to align their goals and would be closed to the public in case any members want to speak openly about personal matters.

Such a teambuilding session or general strategy discussion likely would not be permitted in closed session under the exemptions to the commonwealth’s open meeting laws.

On Friday, Fraser, via email, clarified that: “The brief closed session segment of our strategic planning session will be for the purpose of discussing the performance of Council members as such performance relates to the Council’s adopted codes of conduct, and any associated risk of liability to the Town.”

“I scheduled this closed meeting so that issues that have the potential to interfere with Council’s effectiveness can be addressed early, at their inception,” he wrote. “I expect that this closed session will enable us to work more effectively as a group, and will strengthen our focus on the important work of the citizens. Once the closed session is completed, the remainder of the day will be focused on achieving Council alignment on the strategic priorities for the year.”

To tune into the public portion of the meeting, call 872-240-3212 and use the access code 554-378-541 or log into GoToMeeting and use that same access code.

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