Port Townsend: Council members defend private meeting

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND --Members of a City Council committee defended their right Monday to meet privately to discuss potential litigation concerning a proposed formula store ordinance.

The council's Community Development Committee chairwoman received legal support from City Attorney John Watts over a closed executive session last week to discuss the ordinance.

The three-member committee comprises council members Freida Fenn, Mayor Kees Kolff and chairwoman Michelle Sandoval.

The incident is the third since the November election in which some council members have come under fire for meeting behind closed doors.

Council members have previously been criticized for planning a January retreat and discussing a tree-cutting ordinance outside of a public venue.

On Monday, council members debated last week's decision to meet privately at the advice of City Attorney John Watts, who defends his advice and the committee's decision as ``entirely legal.''

But the executive director of Allied Daily News -- which represents daily newspapers throughout the state in legal and legislative matters -- said the council shouldn't have gone into executive session, according to state law.

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