Hopkinsville Newspaper Files Open Meetings Complaint with City Council

Apr 4, 2013

Carla Jimenez, Kentucky New Era Staff Writer

A closed meeting of Hopkinsville City Council's Compensation Committee this week is facing some scrutiny from the city's newspaper. Hopkinsville’s budget officer, Melissa Sellers Spurr is receiving a promotion to be the city administrative officer. The Compensation Committee Chairman Charlie Henderson invited members of the council to join the committee to discuss  Spurr’s contract. The Kentucky New Era contends the closed door discussion was illegal. Staff Writer Carla Jimenez is covering the story.

“As I understand the open meetings law, the exemptions for closed meetings only apply to the members of that compensation committee," said Jimenez "And, essentially by letting those five extra  council members in on the closed session they had a quorum, an unofficial meeting of the Hopkinsville City Council.”

Jimenez also contends the meeting doesn’t meet Kentucky’s closed meetings guidelines because Spurr is being promoted and not appointed to the position. Jimenez says if the city denies the complaint, which seeks the board to address publicly what it discussed privately, then the New Era will pursue lodging a complaint with the Kentucky Attorney General.  The Hopkinsville City Council has three days to respond to the New Era’s complaint.