Siloam Springs Herald Leader

Directors OK annual rules, procedures


City directors approved Resolution 02-23 regarding Procedures and Organizati­onal Matters of the Board of Directors during the city board meeting Jan. 17.

The resolution originally went before the city board during the Jan. 3 meeting but was tabled so city directors could review potential amendments proposed by city director David Allen. At the Jan. 3 meeting multiple motions were made by directors Carol Smiley, Allen and director Betsy Blair.

Director Mindy Hunt proposed other amendments to the rules and procedures on Jan. 10 in a separate email. Smiley also proposed an amendment to the rules and procedures but did not give a date as to when she emailed the amendments.

Smiley proposed amending Section G-1, which ensures two or more board members of the city board do not discuss city business outside of a meeting of the board of directors.

City Administra­tor Phillip Patterson summarized the motions made during the meeting. According to Patterson there was a motion made to approve the resolution as originally presented on Jan. 3 by Smiley and seconded by director Reid Carroll.

Allen requested a discussion and passed out a sheet of amendments to the rules and procedures. Allen made an amendment to approve his list of amendments, which was seconded by director Lesa Rissler.

This led to a discussion on Allen’s proposed amendments. During the discussion Blair made a motion to amend the rules in regard to financial interests of the board members, which was seconded by director Ken Wiles.

Patterson said it got a little convoluted and he recommende­d that staff be allowed to go back and take all of the amendments and make a redacted version. Patterson had two comments. The first related to having staff post the agenda seven days in advance.

He asked the board to give staff one to two meetings to be able to make the adjustment.

“We have to make arrangemen­ts on schedules and adjust schedules to make that work,” Patterson said.

The second comment was about requiring a simple majority to suspend the rules and read the title only on ordinances.

“State statute is very clear,” Patterson said. “It takes a two thirds of super majority to suspend the rules and read by title only.”

Patterson said if there were ever just four directors and there were ordinances to read, Patterson would have to read the ordinance in its entirety.

The city first addressed Blair’s motion. Her motion was to amend Section B-3 Financial Interest under “Duties and Privileges of the Directors at Board Meetings.”

Blair’s motion reads as follows:

“No member of the Board of Directors shall use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure special privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or his or her spouse, child, parents, or other persons standing in the first degree of relationsh­ip, or for those with whom he or she has a substantia­l financial relationsh­ip that are not available to others except as may be otherwise provided by law.”

The motion was unanimousl­y approved. Next came Allen’s motion. The directors went through each of Allen’s amendments.

Hunt said she still believed that six days would be enough for the directors and public to look at the agenda and board documents and made a motion to have the agenda and board packet come out six days prior to the meeting date which Carroll seconded.

The motion failed in a vote of 4-2 with Allen, Blair, Rissler and Wiles voting against the motion, Carroll and Hunt voting for the motion and Smiley absent due to a family emergency that came up after the public comment portion of the meeting.

After the board heard and discussed Allen’s amendments, which also included moving board comments on presentati­ons before public comments; and ensuring board members are seated in order of positions.

Other amendments included ensuring that a majority of the board of directors be present to constitute a quorum to do business, setting the number of board members to place an item on the agenda during the meeting and increasing the board’s role in appointmen­ts of commission­ers.

Allen’s last amendment involved the mayor’s veto power. The original rule stated that “The mayor has the power to veto any ordinance, resolution or order other than personnel or part thereof adopted by toe board of directors within five days, Sunday excluded of the board of directors.”

The original rule also stated the veto must occur before the next board of directors meeting and that the mayor shall file in the city clerk’s office a written statement of reasons for the veto at the first city board meeting after the veto and that the board can override the veto by two thirds majority of the board of directors or adopted by the board of directors within five days of the vote.

Allen’s change read as follows: “The mayor has the power to veto any ordinance, resolution or order other than personnel passed by a majority of the board of directors and or adopted by the board of directors within five days of the Board of Directors vote, at which time the Mayor shall file in the city Clerk’s office.

“A written statement of reasons for the veto. The Mayor’s veto statement will be communicat­ed to the Board of Directors by the City Clerk and immediatel­y, upon her receipt of the statement of veto at the first

Board of Directors meeting. Following the veto, the Board may override the veto by a two thirds majority or five affirmativ­e.”

This issue was discussed at length at previous meetings but passed easily during the Jan. 17 meeting. The board voted on the motion and passed Allen’s amendments.

The board then addressed amendments by Hunt. A few of them had to do with grammar and wording changes, but others included deleting a portion of Section A-1 concerning holding a board meeting the day after an election if the election falls on the date of a board meeting.

Hunt said this happened once in 2018 and once in 2020 and hasn’t been the practice so it should be deleted.

Following discussion on the matter, Hunt made a motion to remove the partial phrase “… or general election” from that particular statement but leave in the rest of the statement. Rissler seconded the motion.

The directors approved the change. The last motion had to do with approving the resolution itself as amended. The resolution was approved unanimousl­y.

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