Update: New City Council Procedures
During the April 3rd, 2018 Sherwood City Council Meeting, the council adopted new council rules that govern how the council operates. Why does this matter? These new rules will ensure that our council is a council of equals and that no one councilor or the mayor will have the power to control the agenda and debate. Past mayors have used council rules to prevent competing ideas and initiatives from being placed on the agenda.
These new rules are a big step forward and will help ensure that all voices are heard and that there is healthy candid debate as we work on the challenges that face us.
It is important to note that I think the current council, without exception, is dedicated to serving the community.
Updating these rules is about the future. Ensuring that future councilors and mayors are working within a framework that allows for collaboration, candid debate and informed decision making is critical to our long-term success.
Some key features of the new rules:
- City council adopted a code of conduct for councilors and the mayor.
- The city manager, not the mayor, will set the council agenda in consultation with the council.
- A minority of the council (three members) can call a special meeting, emergency meeting or a work session and can place an item on the agenda.
- The ability for citizens to comment at regular meetings will be a required agenda item.
- The public will be given the opportunity to provide citizens comments on all matters, before the council, which require a vote.
- City councilor and mayor expense items will be reviewed on a regular basis by the full council.
This is a big step forward to ensure that future elected officials can't abuse the system. Council rules are evaluated each year and are subject to change. For this reason, I will advocate that we create a Citizen/Staff/Council Committee to assess changes to the City Charter. This would prevent future councils and mayors from exploting parliamentary loopholes to drive personal agendas.