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City looks to alter new policy
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McMinnville officials are considering a measure to repeal an ordinance they just passed that established procedures for greater public notice.
Finance Committee members Ken Smith, chairman, Mike Neal and Ben Newman will be considering doing away with the ordinance Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Under the policy, the public gets at least seven days public notice of committee and full city board meetings, including the proposed agenda of each. The policy also puts restrictions on when actions from committee can be taken to the full board for consideration.
At the time the ordinance was accepted by the city board June 25, Vice Mayor Ben Newman predicted difficult times with adherence.
“The purpose of this is to help the citizens of McMinnville get public notice better than they were before,” Newman said. “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.”
Newman went on to suggest changes be made if the new rules are found to be 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 policy has been under scrutiny by officials more than once since that time. Recently, during the full board meeting Sept. 24, Alderman Mike Neal informed the board he felt the special called sessions on Oct. 1 and Oct. 3 violated the policy.
“The purposed of the two-week notice is to give our constituents time to have input and talk to use about this stuff,” he said. “If we rush these things, it does not give them time to do that.”
Alderman Ken Smith said the items on the agenda, such as pool resurfacing, paving, and the removal of the Blue Building’s auditorium and gymnasium, had time constraints attached to them and required swift action.
Prompting a Finance Committee meeting was a recommendation by Aldermen Billy Wood and Rick Barnes to abolish the policy.