A committee decision to set the fees for Park Theatre and not allow full city board consideration concerns at least one alderman.
Alderman Mike Neal requested and received an opinion from Municipal Technical Advisory Service that says the fee structure must receive full board approval.
“It is my opinion that any fees to be charged by a governing body must be set by ordinance, and this duty cannot be delegated to an appointed board,” said Melissa Ashburn, legal consultant for MTAS. “Only if a statute permits specific fees to be set by resolution or by other bodies is this rule not applicable. I do not know what general law the city relied on to establish this board, but if it does not state that the established board sets fees, then that duty cannot be delegated.
On March 10, Parks and Recreation Committee members Ben Newman, chairman, Steve Harvey and Jimmy Bonner met to review a proposed lease agreement, as well as a fee structure for Park Theatre use. However, while the agreement was sent to the full board for its approval, the committee decided to not send the fee structure.
The decision was made after committee members discussed that if the full board set the fee structure, then full board approval would be needed in the future to make changes to the fees. However, the fees for Parks and Recreation’s other amenities, of which Park Theatre will now be one, are changed with committee approval only and have never been set to the full board for its consideration.
Neal made the request after the meeting’s decision.
“The city of McMinnville is nearing completion of a performing arts center,” Neal said in an email to Ashburn. “At a recent Parks and Recreation Committee meeting the various policies and fee structures for usage were discussed. The committee decided to send the general policies to the full board for approval when completed, but retained within itself the right to set fee structure for usage … My question is does this committee have complete control over the fee structure for the center or is this a matter for the entire board to decide?”
Due to the opinion of MTAS, fees will need full board approval.