Council Likely Moving to New Meeting Style
East Lansing’s City Council met for its first work session last Tuesday, November 24. One of the topics discussed was operating procedures for the coming Council term, including changing to fewer meetings per month, with all meetings video-recorded and broadcast live.
Traditionally, each month Council has held approximately two work sessions and two regular business sessions.
The work sessions have served as the forum for Council to hear staff reports, discuss policy issues, make decisions regarding the timing of implementation of policy, and act on or discuss matters like appointments to boards or commissions, contracts, and the City Manager's recommendations. These sessions have been audiotaped for the record.
The regular business sessions have been where larger issues were voted upon and where public hearings have occurred. These sessions have been broadcast on local cable TV and videotaped for the record.
The newly seated City Council is considering Instead having three “regular meetings” per month which will serve to accomplish the tasks that have been done in both work sessions and business sessions. During these meetings, “any permissible matter of any kind or nature may be considered and acted upon by the City Council” according to changes planned in the Council operating procedure policy resolution.
Council may also hold up to four special “discussion only” meetings per year, according to the proposed changes. These would be “for the purpose of hearing staff reports and discussing policy issues.”
If the changes to the policy resolution pass, all of Council’s “regular” and “discussion only” will meetings be videotaped and broadcast. This will make it easier for residents to see what is being discussed and acted upon in Council meetings.
The changes to the policy resolution establishing the new Council meeting procedures will be voted on at tomorrow’s regular Council meeting. That meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall; see the agenda.
Reminder: Citizens can speak at or write to City Council on any issue, including those not on the agenda. Email can be sent to Council by writing to email@example.com.
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