96 South Main Street, PO Box 77, Nephi, Utah 84648 - Voice: 435 623-0525 - FAX: 435 623-4735
On our front page this week
By Myrna Trauntvein
It was decided that the council needed to hold a work meeting to discuss the celebrations held in the city.
Therefore, Mona City Council will hold a council work session on Tuesday, February 6 at 7 p.m. in the Mona City Council Chambers located at 20 West Center Street in Mona.
The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the Pioneer Celebration held on the weekend of July 24.
“My celebrations committee meets every last Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m.,” said Katrina Long, who is the council member over the celebrations for the community.
One question was what the purchase limit the celebrations budget would allow without having to get council permission.
According to the purchasing policy, expenditures over a certain amount do require that the council approve the spending beforehand.
Jeff Hearty, council member, asked if Long was requesting a waiver of the purchase limit in the purchasing policy.
Bill Mills, mayor, said that he wanted to have a work session meeting with all council members where such questions could be ironed out.
“I would like Everd Squire, city finance director, Michelle Dalton, city secretary/treasurer, and Lyla Spencer, city clerk/recorder, to be present at the meeting as well as the city council,” said Mills.
The only time her committee could meet was at the Wednesday 10 a.m. time slot, said Long. She wondered if she should go ahead with that meeting schedule or should wait to find out what would come from the work session.
She said that the committee was made up of volunteers who were willing to work to make the community celebrations work smoothly.
The committee could attend the work session, said Mills. The public is welcome at all but executive sessions.
Work sessions must be posted and fall under the definition of a meeting in the Open Meetings Act and, therefore, the public may make comment.
“The best way to avoid problems with the Open and Public Meetings Act is to err on the side of public openness. When in doubt, the meeting should be open,” said David Church, general counsel for the Utah League of Cities and Towns.
At a work meeting, the public is to keep in mind that the meeting is to discuss issues and not to take votes nor to make motions.
Work sessions can be scheduled at any time. If there are any questions on issues, they can be addressed in the work session.
Work sessions can be vehicles for addressing major issues more effectively.
“Work sessions can also provide opportunities for us (city council members) to focus on long-term decisions rather than the day-to-day management issues that confront the council,” said Mills.
Presumably such meetings also make regular sessions more productive and shorter. Work sessions can also help members relate better to one another because of the greater informality of such sessions.
Usually, work sessions are held for major projects only. Goal-setting, budget review or major development proposals are examples.
Work sessions are intended to provide opportunities for council/board members to study difficult issues, gather and analyze information, and clarify problems.
Rules governing public participation ought to be enforced, and those in attendance should be made aware of the purpose of the meeting—to study issues, not to take action.
The council holds work sessions to discuss more complex issues or to have training in a more informal arena. These sessions are open to the public but no decision is made except in a regular session.
“No vote will be taken,” said Mills. “We will only discuss city celebrations.”>