After controversial executive session, Steamboat council endorses short sale of house

From Steamboat Today (Steamboat Springs):  After very little public discussion and a controversial closed-door session, the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to endorse a short sale of former city manager Alan Lanning’s home, despite the fact that the transaction will not make the city whole on a $133,000 home loan it gave Lanning in 2006.

Councilman Scott Ford wanted the council to start the dialogue about the decision in public before convening a closed-door session to discuss negotiating strategies with the other lien holders on Lanning’s property.

Council members who supported entering executive session said they felt they would jeopardize taxpayer dollars if they discussed the negotiations in public. Some also committed to having more public dialogue about the decision following the session, but that discussion never materialized for most members.

Ford had a different view and felt the discussions didn’t amount to a real estate negotiation worthy of a closed door session.

“I think this is one of those let’s do the public’s business in public,” Ford said before the council voted, 5-2, to enter the closed-door session.

Council President Walter Magill also voted against the executive session.

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