By Roger Utnehmer
The City of Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority went into closed session at 3:45 PM Tuesday to consider a settlement offer drafted by city attorney Randy Nesbitt over a lawsuit won last week by Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.
The authority went behind closed doors over the objection of member Will Gregory who said, “We are repeating history.”
Gregory argued several times that it might be prudent to wait for a written decision from Judge Raymond Huber who ruled last week that the city cannot develop property on the city’s west side waterfront.
Gregory also argued that people want transparency, not closed meetings where decisions are made outside the view of the public.
The vote to go into closed session was four to one with Rick Wiesner, John Asher, Cindy Weber and Ryan Hoernke voting to close the meeting and Gregory voting to discuss the settlement agreement in open session.
City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout advocated for closing the meeting to the public. He said the judge’s verdict was not a pure victory for either side and any continued negotiations and consideration of options should be done in closed session.
Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak announced before the closed session that “we have an offer of settlement our attorney drafted.”
Upate at 5:30PM February 14, 2017
The Redevelopment Authority took no action in closed session.