Policy for development, dissemination and use of agendas vetoed by Silvius

Council action regarding policy on the Red Oak City Council agendas was vetoed by Red Oak Mayor Shawnna Silvius.
The policy approved by the council at the meeting March 7 and stated the city clerk, with input and direction from the city administrator, would prepare and make the final decision on all agenda content and order of agenda items. Silvius, and Red Oak City Council Members Brian Bills and Tim Fridolph, raised concerns that the policy declared the clerk and the administrator had final say about what went on the agenda and that it didn’t include Silvius, but city administrator Brad Wright said it changed nothing from the way things had been done since he and city clerk Mary Bolton had started working with the city.
The council approved the policy as presented by a 3-2 vote at the March 7 meeting.
While offering praise for all the work done by the council, at the meeting March 21, Silvius announced that she was vetoing the action.
“I appreciate all the work the council does, and the public service role we are all in is certainly a thankless position, and I truly respect you for all stepping up to represent our community. I also appreciate all the work that they do behind the scenes to keep the city running,” Silvius stated. “Obviously we will not always agree on every issue. Regardless of that, I do respect your opinions, and I would never ask you or want you to vote against anything that you believe to be the right thing to do. With that, I want to make it public that on March 11, I did veto the resolution, 2022-11, adopting the policies for the development, dissemination, and use of agendas for the meetings of the Red Oak City Council.”
Despite the veto, Silvius said an agreement had been reached.
“On March 21, we did reach a compromise that will not require any changes or formal action to any existing city policy. We do feel that we need to update some of the documents, but those will come before the council at a later time,” said Silvius.
Additionally, Silvius announced she will have office hours on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., unless she had a conflict with her job.
“I will try to work around those conflicts, and I get to work from home more. I definitely want to be in the office, available to the public, on those days and during those hours,” commented Silvius.
Silvius and Council Member Jeanice Lester also announced they will be at Ryan Falk’s Ice Cream Soda Fountain from 9 to 10 a.m. on March 26 to hear from constituents.
The council also discussed a proposed citizen’s request form to be on the council agenda. Lester proposed a couple of changes to the form before it was approved.
“One of the things I would like to see us drop is copying the request to all the city departments, I think that needs to come later. The other thing I would suggest be changed is in the first sentence, and have it simply state that your request will be reviewed and possibly scheduled for a future meeting, forwarded to the mayor and the city administrator, and with appropriate action to be taken,” Lester advised.
She felt those two minor changes would make it a lot easier.
“Overall, I like it, and I hope that the people like it,” Lester said.
Silvius said the form would be used in lieu of the two minute comment period.
“If the public has something to bring before the council, it gives the public a chance to fill the form out in advance, and it’s due by 4:30 p.m. the Tuesday before a council meeting. It will be emailed to myself and to Brad Wright, or it can be delivered to Red Oak City Hall,” explained Silvius. “It gives the public a chance to put a title to it, explain their request, and any action they are requesting of the council, and then myself and the city administrator will discuss the request and see if we need to have a meeting with them instead, so that we understand the request, and otherwise, the person will be notified as to when the item will be on a future agenda.”
Bills confirmed that the form meant that the opportunity for people to speak would be eliminated without filling the form out. Silvius confirmed that was the case.
“This will allow us to be aware of what someone will be bringing before us,” Silvius commented.
Lester said that other cities use a similar format that it works very well.
Bills said he liked the idea of it, but hoped that it would not make the meetings and comments from the public more restricted.
Silvius said it would also allow for groups that wanted to do a special event or promotion to do so more easily, and also make it easier for members of the public to make proposals to the council.
Lester added it would not pertain to city departments, such as if the Red Oak Police Department wanted to issue a street closure.
“I’m excited to give it a go and see how it works,” Lester said.
Silvius also requested that a podium be put in place for people could stand up and address the council.
“It will give them a little barrier and perhaps make them feel more comfortable, while also allowing them to talk to us, and give us the chance to talk to them and also allow for the crowd to be able to hear what’s being discussed,” advised Silvius.
The forms will be online on the city’s website, city.redoakiowa.com/government/city_council/index.php, and will also be available at City Hall.
The council approved the citizen’s request form, with the changes proposed by Lester.
The council also held a public hearing for the approval of the proposed 2022-23 FY budget. No oral or written comments were received. The council then approved a resolution adopting the FY 2022-23 budget as presented.
In other business, the council:
• Approved an agreement amendment and restatement between the City of Red Oak, and Montgomery County, to form joint precincts for election purposes.
• Approved two requests from the Red Oak Police Department for street closures, the first from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. April 16 between Coolbaugh Street and Reed Street for a pancake breakfast with the Easter Bunny.
The second request was for street closures around the square, and usage of the empty lot at 3rd Street and Reed Street from 4:30 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 2 for the National Night Out event.
• Silvius signed a proclamation recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
• Approved hangar lease agreements for Bryce Leighton, Robin Mith Aero Inc., Chad Hill, and Nishna Valley Flying Club, per the airport commission’s recommendation.
• Approved the renewal of a Class C liquor with Sundays sales and outdoor service license for Casa De Oro.
• Approved a five day Class C liquor license for the Red Oak Elks Lodge, beginning March 26.

The Red Oak Express

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P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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