McMinnville officials have accepted on final read a list of policies and procedures regarding public notice and the time frame necessary before items from committee can be heard by the full board.
“The purpose of this is to help the citizens of McMinnville get public notice better than they were before,” said Vice Mayor Ben Newman. “We are going to try to stick to this as best we can. There may be instances where we find it difficult, but in the long run, it’s in the public’s best interest.”
While the policies and procedures allow for advanced public notice, it may put restrictions on the board. Newman says changes can be made if board members discover the new rules are too restrictive.
“We can amend this down the road if we find it too difficult or that we cannot conduct business in an effective and efficient manner,” Newman said. “I think we need to keep in mind this is something new that we are trying and we are going to try and do the best we can with it.”
The public will get at least seven calendar days public notice of committee and full city board meetings, including the proposed agenda of each.
Agendas for committee and board meetings will attempt to be delivered to aldermen at least five calendar days before the meeting.
Instances when committee actions can be taken to the full board for immediate consideration include:
• Annual routine requests for nonprofit organizations where no funds are requested other than normal set-up expenses.
• Personnel considerations involving disciplinary action or termination.
Instances when committee actions are taken to full board after a two-week waiting period:
• Actions involving the spending of funds not budgeted in the current fiscal year budget, and where there are no time constraints for grant, loan, or other deadlines that could cause cancellation of the project
• All other personnel considerations.
Actions that can bypass the committees and be taken to the full board immediately include:
• Spending of city funds not budgeted in the current fiscal year for economic development where there are time constraints for grants, loans, state notifications, etc. This situation will occur when the immediate action of the board is necessary, and will create economic growth and job creation for the citizens of McMinnville.
• Any other emergency that requires the full board’s immediate action, where inaction would cause the city of McMinnville or the taxpayers damage or harm if immediate action is not taken.
• Special meetings called by the mayor in accordance with state law.
It is the desire of the board to inform the public of all items of business being considered, therefor the city will:
• Post items approved by committees no later than five calendar days after the committee meeting:
• Post all business being considered at the next board meeting seven calendar days prior to the meeting. The city will use its website when functional, the local newspaper, and/ or the local radio stations.
• All city business requiring a vote of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen will originate through the committee system, except for the special exceptions mentioned above.
The measure passed 5-2. Newman, Mayor Jimmy Haley and Aldermen Ken Smith, Jimmy Bonner and Rick Barnes voted in favor of it. Aldermen Billy Wood and Mike Neal voted against it.