The goodwill and extensive investment of time between and during city council meetings are recognized. As it is near a full-time job, city councilmembers deserve more money; however, the economic times are not right. It is natural to learn while working, especially in elected positions. Even for the councilmembers who have been in office for multiple terms, they continue to learn patience.
Based on Aug.4 and many prior meetings, the city councilmembers are requesting more efficient and professional city council meetings, including accountability. Regarding weekly city council meetings, is this fair to the councilmembers and ultimately us, the citizens? What about time for review, speaking with constituents, staff, and time to process, especially when it comes to action items.
Council President Fraley-Monillas stated something to the effect of more can be accomplished during meetings. If she clocked her time, she might be surprised by her repetitive statements. She may also review her authority and responsibility. When the mayor is given the power by the council to speak, it is the council president’s role to take over facilitating the meeting. The mayor is not to play both roles.
Councilmember Kristiana Johnson has, at more than one meeting, formerly requested the mayor to keep track of motions and to keep the discussion on the topic. Conversations held within the motion or amendment create more efficient meetings. City councilmembers, not necessarily to their fault, have often shown to be lost or confused as to the more specific discussion’s topic, including at the Aug. 4 meeting.
If facilitating systems are not second nature, kindly review Roberts Rules of Order or other parliamentary procedures. Do whatever is necessary to make the meetings smoother, more efficient, professional, and continue to keep them amiable.
All of you deal with conflict daily, and COVID has added stress. Without going outside the rules, do whatever is in your power to help each other ease the process. One example, during the most recent meeting, you respected and honored councilmember Olson’s request for more time to review a subject on which citizens are divided. Regardless of views on a topic, that behavior appears to be a sign of councilmembers supporting each other and looking out for the greater good of their constituents.