Archive for Thursday, September 24, 2009

Council changes schedule to improve discussions

September 24, 2009

The Basehor City Council has changed operations up a bit.

At the regular meeting Monday night, the council approved, 4-0 with council member David Breuer not present, a switch in its meeting schedule.

Starting next month, the council will have one work session at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of every month and one regular meeting at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of every month.

Council members will no longer meet for a work session during the middle of the month, and they will not have a work session before the regularly scheduled meeting.

If a meeting falls on a holiday, it will be rescheduled for the subsequent Monday. This is different from the council’s previous Thursday meetings in the event of holidays. Thursday nights conflict with council members’ and city attorney Patrick Reavey’s schedules.

City Administrator Mark Loughry suggested this change in schedule to give council members more time to discuss agenda items and to allow city staff more time to address council concerns before the regular meeting.

“One of the things I had a problem with in having a work session right before a meeting is sometimes, like when we were talking about the rebate program, we were having a really good discussion, and we had to cut it off because we had run through our hour,” Loughry said.

Council President Jim Washington, who presided over Monday’s meeting in Mayor Terry Hill’s absence, expressed his approval of the idea.

“I think we can do just as good a work or better work doing this (different schedule),” Washington said. “We’re at the point where we think it’s worth a try. I personally think it’s going to go terrific.”

A few concerns about the change were raised by council member Bill Moyer. Moyer said he was unsure it was the best route to give council members only one opportunity to vote per month.

“People leave, they go out of town from time to time, and then you miss your one chance a month to vote,” Moyer said. “If you only have one session a month when you’re voting… then voters who brought council members into it might be wondering, ‘What are you in there voting on for me?’”

Washington said the council had previously allowed absent members to vote telephonically along with the rest of the council.

“If you have an issue you feel strongly about, and you’re gone, that’s something we could do,” Washington said of voting by phone.

The council agreed to try the new meeting schedule for a period of three months and revisit the issue in December to make adjustments if needed.

Also on Monday, the council:

• Approved, 4-0, a city purchasing policy presented by Loughry. The policy provides city staff with direction when it comes to buying goods and services.

• Approved, 4-0, ordinance 560 amending chapter 1, article 9 of the code of the City of Basehor to incorporate a city purchasing policy.

• Approved, 4-0, to amend the interlocal agreement concerning the city’s new tax rebate program. The changes within the agreement clarify all taxing entities that adopt the program are agreeing to rebate a set amount of their property taxes in addition to what the city is already rebating. The agreement is awaiting approval and signatures from Leavenworth County, the Basehor-Linwood School District, the Fairmount Township Fire Department and the Basehor Community Library.


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