Chillicothe — Council discussed procedures for an hour and a half on their off-night, as requested by council president Kevin Shoemaker, to give the governing body a reboot and set it on a good start for the year.
In the previous regular session, Shoemaker said he was calling a review session / committee of the whole to improve procedures and familiarize new council members. He said he did not want any decisions yet – just discussions and suggestions.
Most council members attended the 6pm Monday session. Two audience members who often speak from the gallery also contributed to the discussion: John Thacker and the Reverend Terry Williams.
Highlights of the discussion:
• Changing the time of meetings – Is 7pm too late? But would an earlier start tine make preceding committee meetings too early?
• Have council sessions in other places? Old City Hall is not the most convenient location and floorplan…and Williams pointed out that is is frequently in violation of accessibility requirements with the unreliable elevator. What sites could host well, and allow streaming? Would different locations be too confusing? Change locations how often?
• Invocation? A form letter exists to request an introductory prayer from local pastors.
• Committee assignments and how they happen…inconsistent committee minutes procedure…Law Director legislation request form as a possible template…records retention and access…the limited and uncomfortable resources for council clerk…
• Everyone agreed that long-term former council clerk John Fosson continued using old and slow methods for decades, but he was thorough…and his 40 years of solid procedures are now gone.
• New council member Lisa Bennett said she would like a list of city-owned buildings. Others said there had been a facilities study recently that could be reviewed, and a tour would be good for council. (The consensus was that old city hall was not the city building in the worst shape.)
• This meeting was also useful because there was no orientation for new council members. Some are also learning how to access benefits as new city employees.
Shoemaker said he had been waiting to introduce requested legislation from the mayor until they had this talk on procedure. Hear his overview of the meeting in the below interview video.