Mayor Butt: A few changes to City Council meeting procedures


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blogimage.jpgI intend to make a few minor procedural changes that I hope you will support. Comments are welcome.

·        First of all, do not address me as “madam mayor.” 
·        I will be asking a different council member each meeting to lead the pledge to the flag.
·        For presentations, I will ask the person placing the item on the agenda to make the presentation, rather than the mayor. If the item as placed by staff, I will select one or more council members to make the presentation. Please try to minimize the time use for presentations.
·        I will routinely be asking other council members to represent the City at various events instead of doing them all myself.
·        I will do my best to recognize council members to speak in the order they request, but between flaws in the Granicus software and other unintended errors, there will be mistakes. If you are passed over, please just wave your hand to get my attention and do not take it as a personal affront.
·        Please try to be succinct and do not feel compelled to speak if you don’t have something important to say. You do not have to explain every vote.
·        Please help me maintain civility and respect in the audience. If we can get off on the right foot, it will pay off for all of us.
·        I would like to encourage less applause from the audience, but I know how the Council feels about this and do not intend to make a big deal out of it. Most City Councils do not allow or encourage applause. Concord, for example, asks people to wave their fingers, the American Sign Language symbol for applause (see below).

Other suggestions are welcome.

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  • commented 2015-01-20 15:49:50 -0800
    Yeah Tom, many people that now serve on your Council are to long winded and sound like bags of hot air! Some individuals on Council think everything they have to say is SO damn important! It’s all about their ego & ego trips! Trust me for those of us who are in the Council Chamber audience or whom watch KCRT totally tune out these individuals! They consume SO much wasted time with bickering & fighting among themselves it ONLY MAKES COUNCIL MEETINGS LONGER! You need to put your hounds on a leash & inform that these time wasting tactics makes the people of Richmond angry & pissed off! And you should enforce a policy of zero tolerance for such conduct with Council members. There are 2 things those individuals on Council need to know: (1) IT’S AN HONOR & PRIVILEGE TO BE A COMMUITY ELECTED OFFICIAL, IT’S NOT A RIGHT! and (2) THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING IS A BUSINESS MEETING, NOT THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW.
  • commented 2015-01-20 12:02:48 -0800
    Most of these make sense to me and I have no problem with them.

    The last, though, has me concerned. How much time do we spend each meeting with applause? I mean, how much of the actual meeting is delayed specifically because of applause? Two minutes? Three? And how often do we ever have anything worth applauding?

    Even if we lose three minutes out of a 300 minute meeting—just one percent—isn’t that worth it? I mean, if someone is being recognized for living a hundred years and is being honored by the Council, isn’t that worthy of 20 seconds worth of applause?

    Try clapping for something and time yourself to see how long that clapping takes. If you spend 20 seconds clapping, that’s a very long time.

    I’m betting that it’s not the applause that has our new mayor concerned. I’m betting that he may not approve of some of the things the people are applauding. Maybe if it was a dilapidated old building, the Plunge or MCE he would turn a blind eye but just about anything and everything else is of little interest to him so any interest from the people may seem like a wasted of time to him.
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