Scottsdale council to discuss city manager post behind closed doors

Fritz Behring

Fritz Behring

Scottsdale City Council is expected Tuesday, Jan. 5 to meet behind closed doors to discuss the city manager position.

The local governing board will meet in executive session to “discuss, consider, and take possible action regarding the employment, assignment, appointment, promotion, demotion, dismissal, compensation and benefits, disciplining, and/or resignation of the city manager,” according to the meeting agenda.

The exact reason behind the discussion is unknown and no city official would go on record as to the purpose of the discussion.

“Until we have a conversation, I just can’t say anything,” said Scottsdale Councilwoman Virginia Korte in a Jan. 3 phone interview. “Honestly, I don’t really know much.”

In Arizona, municipalities are given a provision within state statutes to discuss certain items away from the limelight of the public arena. The closed-door meetings are known as executive sessions.

An executive session is a gathering of a quorum of members of a public body from which the public body is excluded for one or more of the reasons set forth under ARS section 38-431.03, state law stipulates.

It appears the conversation will be focused on Scottsdale City Manager Fritz Behring who collapsed during a June city council meeting after suffering from a stroke, which is believed to be connected to an unidentified surgery conducted in 2013.

Mr. Behring, a former Pinal County manager, has been Scottsdale’s city manager since 2013. Following the medical event last summer, Mr. Behring was hospitalized then later released with a positive long-term prognosis for recovery, Independent archives state.

Brian Biesemeyer, the city’s water-resources director, served as city manager during Mr. Behring’s medical leave of absence.

Kelly Corsette, Scottsdale communications director, says the general public will be notified of the outcome of the Jan. 5 executive session discussion.

“We  can’t be in executive session, but my team will be at City Hall tomorrow evening in case anything newsworthy comes out that we need to share,” he said in  a Jan. 4 written response to e-mailed questions.

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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