On Monday, the Portsmouth City Council will meet in yet another location outside of their normal chambers.
The city and the county will be holding several meetings at Life Point Church, located at 1644 11th Street, starting on Jan. 22nd at 6 p.m. The change of venue once again suggests that council is expecting a large crowd at their regularly scheduled meeting.
The last two meetings held by council at the old Portsmouth High School gymnasium resulted in hundreds of citizens attending in person, and tuning in to live streams online.
At the last council meeting, it was announced that both the city council members and the suspended City Manager, Derek Allen, would be undergoing a mediation session to come to a mutual agreement between the two parties. That mediation was scheduled for early Saturday, with a former judge from Gallia County serving at the mediator. Also at the last city council meeting on Jan. 8, Allen, who had his employee status changed from terminated to suspended with pay, addressed council and demanded that his public records request be fulfilled before the scheduled mediation.
“I would like to see the documentation that you used to put together those slanderous comments, especially the ones supporting that I’ve committed criminal activity,” Derek Allen said.
According to City Solicitor John Haas, if council and the suspended city manager cannot come to an agreement of terms during mediation, a public hearing will be the next step.
Following Allen’s comments to council members at the last meeting, Mayor Kalb confirmed that Allen was, in fact, requesting a public hearing if an agreement cannot be reached by the two parties during Saturday morning’s mediation. Many citizens that attended the meeting on Jan. 8th were pushing for a public hearing, and some voiced their concerns of what might be taking place behind the closed doors of the mediation session. The outcome of the mediation session is expected to be announced the Portsmouth City Council meeting on Monday evening.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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