Basalt councilman protests executive sessions with boycott

The Aspen Times: A Basalt Town Councilman is refusing to attend the board’s executive sessions because he thinks more business should be done in public.

Councilman Mark Kittle walked out of the council chambers Tuesday night after the rest of the board voted to go behind closed doors. When questioned outside the chambers, Kittle said he has skipped nearly every closed meeting since citizens confronted the board about executive sessions in August.

“I think a portion of the town seems to think we’re doing things behind closed doors more than we should be,” Kittle said when contacted Wednesday.

The council consistently holds executive sessions at its regular meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Closed sessions have been held five times in April and May primarily for town manager candidate interviews and contract negotiations with Ryan Mahoney, who verbally agreed to the job Wednesday.

Records show the council also adjourned behind closed doors once in January, twice in February and once in March — in roughly half the meetings. The topics identified on their agendas ranged on land-use matters to potential litigation with former manager Mike Scanlon.

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