There hasn’t been much news about the latest prospective Phoenix Coyotes buyers since they emerged two weeks ago, and now it’s clear why: All the discussions between them and the Glendale city council are taking place behind closed doors.
Glendale City Council members maneuvered around the state’s Open Meeting Law last month when they met privately with National Hockey League executives and potential buyers of the Phoenix Coyotes, who outlined their desire to use and manage Jobing.com Arena…
The four back-to-back private meetings on May 28 included one, two or three council members.
The number of elected officials during the serial briefings was important.
If four of the seven council members had attended the same meeting, the Open Meeting Law would have required the meeting to be conducted in public.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, who previously said to the NHL that “Glendale is not your cash register,” insists that the meetings were the only way to keep council members in the loop without having a quorum, which would have required an open meeting. What’s so bad about an open meeting he didn’t say, but presumably the new owners wouldn’t agree to talk to the council in public, and if Weiers had met with them and then relayed the information to the council in an open meeting … they would have taken their pucks and gone home or something?
Anyway, the time for open meetings would appear to be now, since the council has set a deadline of the end of the month to decide on whether it will be the NHL’s cash register it will agree to a series of lease breaks that could end up amounting to $15 million a year in city subsidies to the team. The Glendale council has two regular meetings left this month, one of them tonight, plus one special meeting on Friday. But unless it’s masquerading as a liquor license for Vinnie & Joe’s Place, the Coyotes lease deal doesn’t appear to be on the agenda.