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Items for February 2023 Regular Agenda....

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  • Items for February 2023 Regular Agenda....

    Two items for the upcoming February 2023 Regular Meeting agenda...

    1) Receive an update from the Town Secretary on observations and recommendations to date and take action(s) as necessary

    We have identified the importance of the role of Town Secretary and as such, I believe it would be helpful not just in February, but at every regular meeting for the Town Secretary to give us an update on how things are going and then have the ability to take action to assist that person in whatever way they feel is necessary. I believe this would better connect this key position to the entire Council. At least in the short term, I don't think this should be in the form of a "Report" since we need the ability to ask questions and take action.

    2) Discuss and take action as necessary to establish a Finance Oversight Team consisting of 2 Council members

    The entire Council is responsible for, and measured against the financial health of our town. I believe it would help everyone, including the Mayor, to have other members of the Council sharing the burden of monitoring and reporting on the Town's finances. This team would work closely with the Town Secretary and the Mayor to understand, monitor and report back to the Council and citizens on the state of the Town's finances both current and future as necessary.

  • #2
    I agree with the comments above from Mike Jaffe. Also, on the item in the February 21 meeting, Discuss and Take Action on Rules and Procedures, I would like this to include two points.

    First I would like the rules modified to reflect a hard meeting end after three hours, and the meeting only be extended by a majority vote of the council. The 4-5 hour meetings, in my opinion, are not healthy for the council members or the citizens attending, and it is unfair to those wanting to hear and consider items listed toward the end of the agenda when most people are tired.

    Second, in my opinion the agenda should be structured to have the critical items first and less critical items at the end. If any items are cut out of the meeting due to the three hour time limit, they could be added to the regular agendas of future meetings.


    • #3
      I like the idea of updates. With our Town structure and the fact that we don’t have a Town Manager I believe this would be a great way to stay abreast.

      I agree with moving critical agenda items to the front. I’ve had this thought many times before. But what is critical to some may not seem important to others. How do you devise the ranking of agenda items should be done?


      • #4
        Terry, In my opinion, the most critical items on the agenda are those that have financial or legal considerations, and particularly those items with looming time constraints, that require immediate consideration. In contrast, less critical items, in my opinion, are those with no particular time constraints, no serious legal or financial significance, and that deferring one or two months would have little or no impact on the functioning of the town.


        • #5
          That seems reasonable but I fear things would never find their way to the agenda. I like the forum function but I feel like this one may need open verbal communication.


          • #6
            I don't feel that a hard stop is a good idea. We aren't elected for our convenience and should stay until the business of the Town is complete.

            With that said, I do like the idea of arranging the agenda so that the more important items are handled early, and the more discretionary items are handled later. Perhaps we could include something that allows us to terminate the meeting early if time gets too late, but we have an implicit mechanism for that already - tabling.

            I agree with Terry that with a hard stop and a subjective definition of what is 'critical', we could find ourselves with agenda items that keep falling out. I like Tom's definition but there is still subjectivity involved as to whether something 'requires' immediate attention. It would be easy for someone who doesn't want something to pass to simply say that it doesn't rise to that requirement. But again, we already have the ability to table items and if the council determines something is not pressing, we can push it to a future agenda.

            Restructuring the agenda may be all that is necessary for citizens to hear the most important items early on and for the council to be able to have the highest level of concentration for the items which require it,