Q&A: Capital improvements plan in executive session

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From The Connersville News-Examiner:

Q: The county commissioners approved a capital improvements plan. When asked where this plan was created, commissioners said during an executive session including the county council and Connersville board of works.

The commissioners used IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b)(4) as its basis for the executive session. Was their action legal? 

A: The (b)(4) language allows a governing body to interview or negotiate the terms of an incentive program for a particular industrial or commercial prospect. The secrecy protects the prospect from losing valuable employees from its present facility while it searches for a new home.

In this case, the public vote was on the county’s capital improvements plan for the year. I would argue that goes beyond the scope of (b)(4).

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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