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City spends 2.5 hours in
closed door meeting

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

It was a night that apparently contained a lot of discussion, but in the end there was no definitive action.

The Platte City Board of Aldermen spent roughly 2.5 hours in closed session Tuesday night. When the board came back into public session, there was no discussion or vote on any topic.

After the meeting, Mayor Frank Offutt announced that “No votes were taken in closed session tonight.” Offutt declined further comment.

Three items were listed on the agenda as reasons for the closed session, including “communications between the board and its attorney;” “the lease, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body;” and “personnel issue.”

The personnel item discussed is presumed to have been recent matters involving the police chief, including the improperly placed surveillance camera last fall.

In addition, The Landmark has confirmed that the city recently hired a human resources firm to investigate complaints by at least one employee inside the police department.

D.J. Gehrt, city administrator, confirmed the city recently employed the firm People Wise to investigate the situation. Cost to the city for this service by People Wise, a firm headed by Platte County Auditor Kevin Robinson, was $2,682.50, Gehrt said.

Gehrt said he has been advised by Keith Hicklin, city attorney, that the report from the investigation is not a public document and the city declined to make a copy of the report available to The Landmark.

Hicklin was present for the entire closed session on Tuesday night.

Early on, Alicia Stephens, head of the Platte County Economic Development Council, was invited into the closed session, presumably to take part in discussion on the “real estate” matter listed on the closed agenda. She was inside the meeting for roughly 30-45 minutes.