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More On City Council Agenda Process
February 13, 2002
In the February 10, 2002, E-FORUM (“MAYOR AND CITY OFFICIALS MOVE TO GAG COUNCIL MEMBERS”), I complained about my agenda requests not being honored. The mayor has since explained that staff absences and communications misunderstandings were responsible in that particular case, and that the failure to place my requests on the agenda was not intentional. I accept that, and to the extent that I may have jumped to conclusions about a specific intent of anyone to keep those items off the agenda, I apologize.

However, the fact that the problem exists does, in my opinion, require a solution. The Procedures Committee of the City Council meets on February 20, and I will request that the Procedures Committee recommend to the full City Council that the following procedures be adopted in a resolution:

Any City Council member, including the mayor, may place an item on the City Council agenda or any other agenda where the members of the City Council act as a board or commission, by making request to the city clerk’s office verbally, in writing or electronically (fax or email), prior to 5:00 PM on the Thursday preceding the meeting for which the request is made. If the meeting is a board or commission other than the City Council, and no meeting is otherwise scheduled for the date requested, then a meeting shall be scheduled. Written or electronic requests are preferable so that there is a record of the exact wording of the request. Back-up documentation, when appropriate, is encouraged and shall be distributed with the agenda item in council members’ packets.

The mayor or a staff member may contact the requesting council member to suggest modifications, postponement or alternatives to the agenda request. If the requestor agrees, such actions may be taken. If the requestor does not agree or cannot be contacted, then the requested item shall be placed on the agenda as originally requested.

The only exceptions to the above shall be as follows:

  1. The city attorney determines that the item legally must be heard in closed session, in which case the item shall be set on the closed session agenda of the same date as the request.
  2. The request is for a item previously tabled, in which case only a member who previously voted to table may request that the item be taken off the table.