News Daily article prompts Jonesboro exec session discussion

JONESBORO — Officials in Jonesboro discussed their use of executive sessions Monday during a brief conversation prompted by an article Clayton News Daily ran on the subject over the weekend.

The article focused on comments from attorney David Hudson, who is considered a leading authority on Georgia’s Open Meetings Act, published in the Georgia Press Association’s December professional publication.

In his column, Hudson said officials are allowed to publicly disclose what was discussed in closed door meetings.

“We might as well do all of our business and not even have executive sessions,” said Mayor Joy Day after Councilman Randy Segner brought up the article at the city council meeting.

But in reality, Jonesboro usually handles its business in open meetings.

Executive sessions are a rare occurrence that may only happen once every few months.

When they are held, it’s usually stated that it involves a personnel matter.

Day said they handle such matters in executive session to protect the privacy of employees.

She said the only other issues the council is allowed to discuss are pending real estate transactions and pending litigation. In the case of any litigation that comes against Jonesboro, the mayor said it usually involves personnel issues.

Councilman Wallace Norrington asked about any cases where municipal officials in cities around Georgia have been removed from office by their colleagues for disclosing details of closed doors discussions.

Day said she wasn’t aware of any specific instances where that happened.