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Arena board closes meeting to discuss personnel matter

Haymarket arena construction

Construction workers near the site of a diesel spill that's being removed from the area where a new arena will be built west of the Haymarket.

At its last meeting, the board overseeing arena construction — the Joint Public Agency — kicked the public out at the end to have a private discussion.

About what? We don’t know.

We only know that Mayor Chris Beutler made a motion to go into a closed, executive session “to prevent needless injury to reputation” while “discussing work performance on the project.”

The JPA meetings are, of course, open to the public. But there are exceptions in state law that allow public bodies like the JPA to close portions of meetings. That’s what happened here. The exception would be discussion of a personnel matter.

So someone, or some company’s job performance was discussed by the JPA. And the JPA and city don’t have to say who, or why.

However, if the board is going to take any action (vote), the board has to reconvene and do it in public. I don’t believe they did that in this case, so presumably no votes were taken.

I’ve heard rumblings about unhappiness with a certain contractor on the job — but to avoid any controversies before the election, nothing was done about it back then. Perhaps this is the same issue.

If you know anything about it, give me a call or email me at

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