Posted on: 2017-08-18

Special Meeting Invalid

The city is without a mayor after the solicitor announced earlier this afternoon he had determined an August 14, 2017 City Council special meeting was improper. The meeting’s notice was not posted in a timely manner.

A citizen complaint recognized the timely notice was not posted for Monday’s special meeting where the sitting mayor resigned his position, creating a vacancy in that post. Specifically, a meeting notice was not posted on the City’s bulletin board in a timely manner, as required by the Loveland Code of Ordinances.
The meeting, called Saturday by then-Mayor Mark Fitzgerald, required notice be posted on a City Hall bulletin board 12 hours prior to the meeting. The notice was posted at 11 a.m., four hours later than the law requires, therefore, invalidating any action taken at the special meeting.

City Solicitor Joseph Braun advised City Council members earlier today it was his legal opinion this procedural defect rendered all Council action taken at the meeting to have “no legal effect.” Braun said he had researched the issue and provided his opinion to City Council members. This, despite the fact notice has been posted on three social media sites, numerous “re-shares” on those sites and broad notification to local media – all resulting in an overflow crowd Monday night.

“I cannot ignore the fact that the posting requirements of Section 109.04 of the Loveland Code of Ordinances were not adhered to by the Clerk of Council. As such, any action taken by Loveland City Council at its August 14, 2017, special meeting should be deemed without legal effect,” Braun said.

Braun also determined because former mayor Fitzgerald’s resignation took place after the special City Council meeting had adjourned – and not during it – his resignation is still valid and remains in effect.

Fitzgerald’s resignation stopped the recent recall effort initiated by a local political action committee.

City Council will now have to select a new mayor at a subsequent meeting. Until a new mayor is named, Angie Settell, who had been sworn in as mayor on Monday night, will remain as the vice mayor, and preside at all City Council meetings until a new mayor is selected by City Council or after the November 2017 election. Once chosen, the new mayor will have the power to appoint a new Council member to fill Fitzgerald’s vacated seat if Council cannot agree on a new member to fill that position.

Click here to read the City Solicitor’s legal opinion.