Canton City Council's meeting at Football Hall of Fame legal, officials say

From The Canton RepositoryA majority of city council members heard details about the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s proposed expansion during a private meeting last week at the Hall.      The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce organized the meeting and invited council members to attend. Eight or nine of Canton City Council’s 13 members were there.      Generally, when a majority of council members are involved in a prearranged meeting, the session is considered a public meeting, and notices must be posted as part of Ohio’s open meeting — or Sunshine Law — regulations.      But because this meeting was organized by the Chamber and was only for information purposes, the Sunshine Law didn’t apply, council members and other officials said.      The meeting occurred as council began reviewing a $5 million grant toward a $24.3 million improvement of Fawcett Stadium. City officials have committed verbally to awarding the grant, but council must formally approve the move.Council members said they didn’t take action during the meeting, nor did they deliberate the project or grant. Dennis P. Saunier, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer, said the meeting was an opportunity to update council members on economic development projects from the past year. The proposed Hall of Fame Village project is part of those developments, he said.The chamber has conducted similar meetings in the past, but presentations generally were part of council sessions or committee meetings. Saunier said the event was held at the Hall of Fame to give council a “flavor of the building.”Continue Reading>>