Jobe Publishing, Inc.
Last month the Glasgow Electric Plant Board (GEPB) board of directors voted 3-1 to hire David Puskala, an account executive for the Upper Peninsula Power Company in Michigan, who was one of several potential candidates.
They met on the evening of August 11th, at the office of the GEPB, for the purpose of approving a contract proposal for the superintendent of the GEPB.
However, before the business at hand could be handled there was an argumentative discussion lasting approximately 20 minutes about whether or not it was advisable to go into a closed session.
Ron Hampton advises that they could not discuss anything not on the agenda.
“You have to identify your topic, for what is going to be on the agenda. The topic is on the agenda,” Hampton said.
“I think this meeting does not need to be held tonight and I think this was an issue with meeting violations. And I go on record as saying I think the best thing to do is reschedule this meeting for Friday,” said vocal board member, Libby Short.
“Why is that?” Asked chairman, DT Froedge.
“You heard me DT, I object because this is in violation of open meetings,” Short said.
“What is the violation?” Asked Froedge.
Short replied, talking over Froedge’s words, causing board member Glen to jump into the conversation to say, “He’s the chairman, when he starts talking you need to stand down.”
“I won’t stand down for anyone,” Short replied.
Legal counsel Ron Hampton reiterated the need to proceed with caution.
“There could be issues with the closed session and my recommendation is to stay in open session, which is where you are right now,” Hampton said.
Froedge stated that it was merely a technicality and that he was not attempting to hide anything or challenge open meeting laws.
“I’m saying don’t go into closed session, I’m telling you the topic is proper for discussion in open session…. my recommendation is to not go into closed session,” said Hampton.
“Obviously item number one is about approving the contract, then we have to have a motion about it. I’m just telling you don’t have these discussions in closed session. I’m of the opinion that you could, but that we don’t to avoid a problem,” Hampton reiterated.
After much discussion, Chairman pro Jaske if there was any discussion regarding the contract’s stipulations.
Short was the only one to comment.
“A couple of things I am kind of not real keen on, you are wanting to pay 166,000 and change a year to somebody you didn’t have any questions of in an interview,” said Short.
Short also wanted the 5% annual raises taken out, because those were usually performance-based and not written in the contracts, according to Short.
“I don’t think we’ve had a contract like this before have we?” Asked Witcher.
They took a vote on the contract and it was approved 3-1, with Short being the only member who voted against its approval.