Normally, the city manager and mayor set meeting agendas together, and traditionally, all council members are polled about their availability before a meeting is set, Combs said.
Then, at the last minute, the meeting was continued to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13 (after The Almanac went to press).
Adding to the mystery was information that later emerged that while the topic of the meeting was about the city manager's performance, the law firm that represents the city on personnel matters wasn't there. Usually, someone from Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong, the law firm the city uses for personnel matters, would be there but instead, the meeting was attended by a representative from the city attorney's firm, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, which doesn't represent the city in labor negotiations and complex personnel matters.
Because of that, Combs said he initially planned to not participate in the closed session meeting.
"It is reckless and exposes the city to many risks for us to convene under the auspices of a personnel issue with counsel that is not the counsel that has been stipulated as the personnel counsel for the city," he told the other council members before the meeting began.
"The behavior over the past couple of days has amounted to some sort of 'House of Cards' amateur hour," he added.
However, he later told The Almanac that he eventually did decide to join the meeting out of concern for the individuals he represents on the City Council.
While there are legal limitations on what can be disclosed from a closed session, Combs said that after the meeting that there was a maneuver made, and it failed.
Furthermore, he felt that the matter brought up in the closed session discussion did not, in his estimation, validate the lead-up to the meeting, he said.
Combs said that Wolosin's actions had created uncertainty for city staff, the city manager and the community and said he believed that she should apologize to residents, city staff and the city manager.
Her actions, he said, led some individuals to suspect that "there was some major impropriety that had happened or was happening, which was not the case."
"This is what corruption looks like," he said.
In a statement, Wolosin told The Almanac, "Nothing I did was in any way unethical or illegal. I will continue to advocate for equitable and sustainable transportation, housing and climate solutions. I hope we can work together on these issues for our beloved city."
"The city does real things," Combs said. "It provides public safety. It provides water and transportation infrastructure. The city is not the machinations of council. Councilmember Wolosin has lost that perspective."
She "should be embarrassed by her actions ... She owes the residents an apology," he added.
This story contains 550 words.
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