I learned today that there has been a post on the Lincoln City Homepage Facebook page regarding Justin Werner’s attempt to attend the Executive Session last night. There seems to be confusion on his part as to the process by which one can attend an executive session as media. Mr. Werner contacted City offices a few weeks ago about attending an executive session as media. We informed him that there was a process he needed to follow and that the City Council would make that determination. That process included appearing before the City Council during an open session where in the City Council could make the determination (i.e.) vote on his application.
We sent to Mr. Werner the Attorney General’s opinion on media and said he would need to show that he can meet the criteria of the Attorney General’s opinion for the City Council to determine that he is bona fide media. Mr. Werner has not made the request or application during an open session and therefore the City Council is unable to act or vote.
Last night Mr. Werner attempted to attend an executive session without having gone through this process. The City Attorney, Mr. Appicello, advised the City Council that they could not act either in executive sessions or work sessions as to Mr. Werner’s standing as media. I advised Mr. Werner that he had to leave because he has not been recognized as bona fide media.
I have learned since becoming a City Manager in Oregon that there is a process for doing things. In my discussions with City Staff Members, we have applauded Mr. Werner’s efforts to establish himself as media and encourage him to follow the process and apply to the City Council. If he is able to show that he is media according to Attorney General opinion and the City Council approves his petition, we are happy to welcome him to the City meetings including executive sessions according to Oregon and Lincoln City laws and policies.