GN – Mayor’s Aide and former ace reporter Jen Myers who is a wealth of information and knowledge on government rules and regulations provides some solid information on the mediation question.
JM – The mediation session was not illegal. The City Manager is not bound by the Open Meeting Law. The section you cited applies to the Council. If the Council (or School Committee or Planning Board or a Board of Selectmen ) wanted to enter into a mediation session with someone that is the process.
From the Attorney General’s Open Meeting Law guide:
Boards of selectmen and school committees are certainly subject to the Open Meeting Law, as are subcommittees of public bodies, regardless of whether their role is decision-making or advisory. Neither individual government officials, such as a mayor or police chief, nor members of their staff, are “public bodies” subject to the law, and so they may meet with one another to discuss public business without needing to comply with Open Meeting Law requirements.
**** The CM is not bound by Open Meeting Law; the mediation session was totally legal.*****
GN – Which then leaves the question about why the need for the executive session based on the 9 exceptions listed by the state??