In House Meeting,

LUB meets at chairman's home

Vicky Newman News-Herald

The Loudon Utilities Board of Directors canceled the regular workshop meeting this week, which normally takes place on the second Monday of the month. However, the board met at the home of LUB Chairman Jack Randolph Tuesday in an unscheduled and "unofficial" meeting.

All board members except Kenneth "Cotton" Thomas attended the meeting, according to Randolph. The chairman said the meeting was about contract negotiations and no other business was discussed.

 "It was not a board meeting. It was a union meeting," Randolph said. "Not anything of the board itself was discussed. I am not able to out get as often, so the staff meets with the union, then comes back to the board and city with the union's offer ... we asked about it ... it was our understanding it is legal."

Lynn Mills, LUB manager, confirmed that the meeting was  for discussion of contract negotiation proceedings.  "This was not a secret meeting," he said. "We met at the chairman's house because he is on oxygen and unable to get out; it's hard for him with the weather so hot ..."

The LUB manager's office had sent out a June 10 e-mail, stating, "The Loudon Utility Board Workshop meeting for Monday, June 13th has been cancelled due to no discussion items necessary."

Randolph said the practice of meeting outside Loudon City Hall, was not uncommon. "We've been doing that, and it was our understanding that it was legal. We did no board business except union business."

The Loudon City Council, meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., also entered executive session. Mayor Judy Keller said she was closing the board to the public for the executive session meeting. There was no motion made to enter executive session, however, and therefore no official reason specified. However, Mills, who also serves as city manager, said during a short break he had requested the executive session to inform the board of union discussions and their impact on the city.