Committee To Look At Rules Of Order

Committee To Look At Rules Of Order Click to Enlarge Photo: Steven Coursolle (KNSI)

(KNSI) - The St. Cloud City Council has formed a committee to discuss possible changes to its rules of order after a recent meeting was adjourned and then reconvened.

President Carol Lewis says there has been some confusion on procedures.

"I think there have been some misinterpretations of rules along the way, and so we need to tighten up language, we need to clarify our language and make sure that everybody is on the same page."

Lewis admits she mistakenly adjourned the October 23 meeting while council member Jeff Johnson's moratorium on refugee resettlement still had a motion on the floor.

After learning of the error Lewis reconvened the council and finished the vote, which failed 5-1, although some residents contend the vote wasn't official since the meeting was cut short.

"Everything was done properly, ultimately, but I did make a mistake."

The city attorney's office reviewed the meeting and said there wasn't any violation of the bylaws.

The committee will look at possible tweaks to language of the rules of order and also procedural changes to how the meetings are structured.

Lewis says they talked about having people call into the city clerk the day of a meeting, to sign up to speak instead of the first five who can make their way to the podium.

The council also discussed changing how many times a resident can speak during an open forum portion, from two times a year, to once a month.

At the study session, the council decided the committee will be made up of Lewis and council members Steve Laraway and George Hontos.

The newly formed committee will meet this week before discussing any changes to the rules of order at a future study session.

Lewis doesn't think any resident's views have been stifled, because she and the council have adhering to the bylaws say on public comment.

"We have followed our rules, I have limited people to two minutes, yes I have, but that's the rule, we have limited to five people at our open forum, but that's the rule."

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