The Roanoke City Council forbids its members from talking about executive session discussions.
What if the talk strays beyond allowable topics?
Before the council can govern the city, it must govern itself, or so goes the premise behind the Roanoke City Council’s “House Rules/Code of Conduct.”
Rule No. 1: “Maintain confidentiality following a closed meeting.” Those who chew through the gag order risk public censure, or worse. Or so they’re led to believe.
It’s doubtful whether the odd Roanoke rule has teeth. Interim City Attorney Timothy Spencer points to state law on governing bodies to say that it does: “A governing body may punish or fine a member of the governing body for disorderly behavior.” Violating the council code could be construed as disorderly behavior.