Communication with incoming council members to be discussed Nov. 17

Members of Paradise Valley Town Council and staff during a study session. (file photo)

Members of Paradise Valley Town Council and staff during a study session. (file photo)

The Town of Paradise Valley Town Council will discuss three points of council communication during its Thursday, Nov. 17 town council meeting.

The three topics the council will focus on is to be communication with council member-elects, communication of attorney-client privileged information and communication of town manager weekly reports, according to a memo sent from Paradise Valley Mayor Michael Collins and Vice Mayor David Sherf to Town Manager Kevin Burke.

The past two town council elections wrapped up in late August and early September, but council member-elects are not sworn in until January.

“This creates a rather long period of time for a transition,” the memo states. “Consequently, staff is trying to balance providing the councilmembers-elect with information that gets them up-to-speed and respecting the governance powers of those still in office.”

As a result of this unique situation, the council will discuss including council members-elect in any communication that is available to those on the sitting council after the general election has concluded, according to the memo.

The council will also discuss whether or not to share Town Attorney Weekly Reports with council members-elect because of the implications of violating attorney-client privilege.

According to the memo, no single member of council can break that privilege since that privilege is between the town attorney and the entire council. However, the entire council can decide together to allow council members-elect to receive those reports.

The memo states Town Attorney Andrew Miller advises against waiving that privilege since “the topics are unknown from report to report.”

This discussion came about because a Town Attorney Weekly Report was mistakenly shared with council members-elect, according to town officials.

The third talking point is about how Town Manager Weekly Reports were shared with a council member-elect.

The discussion on this topic will center on how the council wants to handle the communication of the Town Manager Weekly Reports, which is a public document.

Since the Town Manager Weekly Report is a public document, there is no privilege or confidentiality surrounding this report. However, some of the council have been operating under the impression the recipient would need to go through an open request process to obtain the report, according to the memo.

This is not the case as anyone on council has the option to forward this document to any person at any time.

The town council meeting will be 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive.

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