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Council stalls on approving last meeting’s minutes

Marion’s City Council meeting began Monday night with a false start. Councilmembers noticed that the agenda they had been distributed for the evening’s meeting was different from the one they had seen earlier in the day.
Shortly after opening the meeting and hearing public comment, Mayor Dexter Hinton asked the council for a fifteen-minute executive session to review the agenda before proceeding with the meeting.

Councilmembers remained behind closed doors for nearly another hour after the executive session was called. When councilmembers returned to open session, one of their first orders of business, the usually-routine process of approving the minutes of the last meeting, created a point
of contention.

While no specifics were discussed in the open meeting,
the city’s attorney advised the mayor and council that a vote on minutes was about the accuracy of the minutes as presented.

“The minutes aren’t about whether people agree to what happened in the meeting,” she said. “We need to think about the legalities. I’m encouraging people to focus on whether the minutes are accurate.”

The disagreement seemed to stem from dissatisfaction on the part of some councilmembers with the results of the council’s second February meeting.

“If you disagree with something that happened in the meeting, you can always bring that before the council,” said the attorney. “But the minutes reflect the actions taken in the meeting.”