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City Council agendas to now include committee reports

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Roswell City Council agendas will have some slight changes in an attempt to create more openness about committees and items they do not approve.

City Manager Joe Neeb gave a report at Thursday’s Legal Committee meeting about a small-group discussion last week on the council’s rules of order.

The 1 1/2 hour meeting last Friday was attended by Councilors Judy Stubbs and Juan Oropesa, Mayor Dennis Kintigh, Neeb and a few other city staff, Neeb said.

Discussion included reducing redundancies in the council’s governing rules of order and how items move through the council’s committee system.

Neeb’s report was for information only, with no proposal to take action on.

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The council’s rules of order have been an ongoing concern since last fall, when Oropesa began to question in meetings if the council is following its own rules. He cited a couple of instances when issues before one committee were rejected or received a tie vote and then appeared on the agendas of the Finance Committee, where they were passed.

Neeb said that issue was a point of discussion in the small group meeting. The group did not fully discuss all issues that have been aired with the rules of order, such as use of the consent agenda, he said.

“We got really tied down into the conversation on when a decision comes out of a standing committee as a 2-2 or a negative decision, essentially a failed vote of an item,” he said.

Neeb said the discussion led to adding committee reports to the full council’s agenda.

“We said we would try to develop a process where an item that receives a failed decision at committee will show up on the council agenda within a committee report,” Neeb said.

“Standing committees are supposed to be doing a report to the city. I think what we’ve done is we’ve skewed that and created that all the action of the committee goes to the council and so there’s no way to put on a failed decision that’s not going to be addressed,” he said.

With the committee reports, a failed item could then be discussed by the full council. It would take just two councilors to have a failed item move into the committee system again or even the next full council agenda for reconsideration, Neeb said.

“We’re hoping that those things help clear up some of the mud that we have, that in order to try to move those things through,” Neeb said.

Stubbs noted the process of making adjustments to the rules of order will be a long one.

“This is going to be a longer process than we expected it to be. There are a lot of questions and concerns,” she said.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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