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Whatever transpired during a closed-door meeting between Kings County council and representatives of Michelin Canada will remain a mystery to the general public, at least for now.
Chief administrative officer Tom MacEwan said May 21 that there weren’t any motions resulting from the in-camera meeting that took place the previous evening. Warden Diana Brothers said during the May 6 council session that there “might” be a motion regarding Michelin coming out of the session.
MacEwan said prior to the meeting that it met the requirements for an in-camera session, as it had to do with land and/or contract negotiations.
In a document published on the County of Kings website on May 16, entitled “Municipal Airport Relocation Project Frequently Asked Questions,” the first question posed is “Why has so much discussion surrounding the airport and potential Michelin expansion taken place ‘in-camera’?”
The answer provided states that council meetings are open to the public unless closed to discuss matters related to items such as the sale of municipal property or contract negotiations and to receive legal advice. These ‘closed’ or ‘in-camera’ meetings are permitted under Section 22 of the Municipal Government Act.
It goes on to state that: “Closed meetings are intended to provide a forum for council to discuss specified items in private, prior to making a decision. Council cannot make a decision at a closed meeting as binding decisions must be made in an open meeting.”
The answer also states, “It is in the best interest of every Kings County citizen to ensure negotiations are done properly and in accordance with best practices, to achieve optimal results for the greater good of all taxpayers.”
Following an in-camera session on March 10, council voted to close the municipal airport in Waterville as of Sept. 30 to make way for a possible future expansion of the neighbouring Michelin tire plant.