Friday, January 22, 2016

Conduct of City Council Meetings, Part 2

My assessment of the two January Council meetings is that they were good meetings.  Discussion on agenda items by the Council was issues oriented, not political or personal.  The "hottest" subject, the City Identification Card Ordinance, generated a lot of discussion by Council members.  The message from Councilors was to consult the people who implemented the non government ID cards so there is no confusion and a smooth changeover to the city ID cards.  This a job for the city administration and I am sure that this will come up next month when this ordinance is up for second reading and final approval.

Councilors expressed concern about having input on the proposed Plainfield marketing initiative and a meeting of the minds resulted in approval for the proposal.   The PARSA ordinance amendment was approved on first reading.  Other resolutions were not controversial and were also approved. 

There will be more discussion on Council conduct in February.  I will be adding two items for discussion:  2016 city budget process and the procedure for approval of Councilor expenses. 

The budget process includes the role of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee and the Council's timetable for budget approval.  I favor approving the budget as soon as a thorough and transparent process allows.  I find it absurd that because of state policies, municipalities cant approve their budgets before the year begins and actually cant even do so until the third or fourth month of the year.  

Plainfield has an ordinance that directs how Councilors may spend money budgeted for Council purposes.  This includes travel, accommodations and registration for conferences and workshops. 

The City Council is not ready yet for Kumbaya but its a good start.  The truer test will be the 2016 city budget.                                                 

1 comment:

Terri slaughter-Cabbell said...

Cory, I qelcome the change you have brought to the Council meetings. It's great to see an orderly meeting where work is done without the circus we have seen in the past.