Weather Forecast


Bemidji City Council: Meeting called and canceled

A special meeting of the Bemidji City Council was called and canceled all within a 10-minute time period Tuesday.

A special closed meeting was called for noon Friday "for the purpose of evaluating the performance of the city manager," according to an e-mail received at 12:01 p.m.

But just seven minutes later, at 12:08 p.m., a second e-mail announced that Jerry Downs, Bemidji city councilor and mayor pro-tem, "has cancelled the special meeting."

Downs had requested the closed session during a regular work session on Monday concerning the Carnegie Library.

Following discussion on the library, Downs asked if there was interest from other councilors to hold a "special meeting to discuss personnel issues."

"There's some issues that happened last week that I want to discuss," he said, according to a recording of Monday night's meeting.

Downs was acting as mayor pro-tem as Mayor Richard Lehmann was absent.

The state requires a public, three-day notice before a meeting of a governmental body can be held. It was thought then that the meeting would be Thursday night.

But the meeting was never publicized until Tuesday, meaning that the earliest the meeting could be held was Friday.

City Manager John Chattin said the meeting scheduled for Friday has been canceled and not rescheduled at this time.

A special meeting can be called by the mayor at any time, or any three members of the council can call for a special meeting.

Downs did not return a phone call seeking comment.