Question and Answer Session with Press and Public


Staff member
Responses to questions asked at the August 1 Regular Meeting:

1. LDC Code: Missing some items. Why weren’t these included? Noise/smells/light/vibrations/dirty electricity/cancer causing particulates: wondering what happened to these? The development code has a section which addresses Public Health Related Performance Standards.

2. Why have we not strengthened tree ordinance? Many have been fighting for this for years. We have participated in LDC, Comp Plan, and it’s troubling. The Tree and Habitat Protection section of Code was updated in 2018 with greater protections and increased mitigation requirements.

3. Why did the Mayor not recuse herself when there is an active complaint against her regarding Ethics Review Commission? Response below.

4. Mayor did not give another elected official opportunity to nominate someone? Why do we have these openings and why did she not recuse herself? Response provided by the Mayor: Generally, board and commission appointments are made by the council, not individual council members except sometimes when we create a new committee, usually for a specific and limited purpose, such as the Comprehensive Plan committee.
Traditionally, if there are to be 7 members, each council member appoints 1. If there are to be 15 members, each council member appoints 2 and the mayor appoints 3. If there are to be 21 members, each council member appoints 3.

For usual board and commission replacements, the entire council reviews the list and any council member can make a nomination. For the Ethics Review Commission (ERC), I nominated one person. Any of the six council members could have nominated anyone else on the list, but they chose not to nominate anyone else. Since there was only one person nominated for the one open position, it was a yes/no vote.

I did not speak to any of those who volunteered and none of them contacted me.

I expect each person on the commission will give any item coming before the ERC full and objective attention without consideration to who nominated them.

It's possible that over the years I have nominated others who are on the ERC, I do not recall. Each received a majority of the votes cast by the entire council.

5. Press & Public: Did City Council vote on language for Q&A and Citizen Comment? Response below.

6. Who makes citizen comment rules? No established language on press and public rules? If there is established language, where is it? Responses to 5 & 6:. The City Council votes on the citizen comment rules. They are found in Sec. 2.045 Rules of decorum for city council and city board and commission meetings.
(a) The purposes of these rules are as follows:

(1) To ensure that meetings of the city council and of city boards and commissions are conducted in a way that allows the business of the city to be effectively conducted.

(2) To ensure that members of the public who attend meetings of the city council and of city boards and commissions can be heard in a fair, impartial and respectful manner.

(3) To ensure that meetings of the city council and of city boards and commissions are conducted in a way that is open to all viewpoints, yet free from abusive, distracting or intimidating behavior.

(4) To ensure that the rules governing decorum at meetings of the city council and of city boards and commissions are understood by persons attending the meetings.

(b) This section applies to city council meetings and to meetings of boards and commissions whose membership is wholly appointed by the city council.

(c) Members of the public may address the city council or a city board or commission at the following times during a meeting:

(1) During citizen comment period, if such a period is on the agenda for the meeting;

(2) During a public hearing on an agenda item; or

(3) At other times with the permission of the presiding officer.

(d) Members of the public who wish to address the council or a board or commission at any time during a meeting must sign in prior to the meeting at the city clerk's office, for a council meeting, or at the office of the staff liaison, for a board or commission meeting. Speakers must state their name, and must limit their remarks to three minutes. The allotted time will commence from the beginning of the speaker's remarks and will include any time spent in discussion between the speaker and council or board or commission members. Issues taking longer to communicate can be addressed outside the meeting to the city staff or to individual members of the council or board or commission, or submitted in writing.

(e) All comments and questions by members of the public at a meeting will be directed to the presiding officer.

(f) During a citizen comment period, members of the public will be given one opportunity to speak, and they must observe the three-minute limit under subsection (d). If a speaker speaks during the citizen comment period on a topic listed on the agenda, including a public hearing topic, the person cannot speak again on the item when it is considered by the council or the board or commission, except in response to a question from a council or board or commission member.

(g) The mayor and council, and the presiding officer and members of boards and commissions, will endeavor to ensure that meetings are conducted in a courteous manner, and in an atmosphere free of defamation, intimidation, personal affronts, profanity, or threats of violence.

(h) Members of the public shall not engage in any of the following in the meeting room during a council or board or commission meeting:

(1) Shouting, unruly behavior, distracting side conversations, or speaking out when another person is talking.

(2) Defamation, intimidation, personal insults, profanity, or threats of violence.

(3) Audible use of phones, pagers, radios, computers or other electronic equipment.

(4) Booing, hissing, foot stomping, parading, singing or other similar behavior that impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of the meeting.

(i) During Citizen Comment, Public Hearings, and Questions and Answer items, speakers may not make personal insults of any type that identify individuals by name including council members, city staff, residents, and others.

(j) The rules in this section shall be enforced against individuals participating in meetings in-person or online in the following manner:

(1) The presiding officer will request that a person who is violating a rule cease the violation.

(2) If the violation continues, the presiding officer will warn the person that he or she will be required to leave the meeting room if the violation continues.

(3) If the violation continues, the presiding officer will order the person to leave the building or the online meeting room.

(4) If the person does not leave the building or online meeting room, the presiding officer may order any peace officer at the meeting to remove the person from the building or have the person removed from the online meeting room.

(k) It is unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly resist removal from a meeting room by a peace officer under subsection (j).

7. Would you consider moving up questions from press and public before Executive Session items? This is a policy issue for Mayor and City Council to respond to.

8. Public Hearings: Do City staff find it problematic that we don’t incorporate comments from last PH into our presentations? What if you weren’t there in the June meeting and we’re discussing at a future date? All comments must be provided to HUD when the Action Plan is submitted. Carol’s statement on 8/1 was that no comments were received during the required 30-day public comment period – referring to the 30 days the plan was online.

9. Please provide clarification on Stephanie’s raise. Why is she asking for an additional $10,000? It wasn’t clear in the packet. Was it in her hiring contract? Why is she being allowed to amend her contract? The Background Information on the Agenda Request Form was unintentionally not included and should have read similar to the other two appointees receiving increases:
The City Manager’s employment agreement provides for an annual performance evaluation and merit pay consideration. The performance evaluation was completed at the July 3 City Council Meeting. Motion to approve a pay increase effective May 1, 2023. Section 8 of the City Manager’s employment agreement dated February 21, 2023 is amended to provide for the City to pay for the City Manager’s contributions to the TMRS retirement system as shown in the attachment included in the packet.
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