Leon Valley
TX

Ordinance

Discuss and Consider Possible Action on an Ordinance Amending Chapter 1, Article 1.04, Section 1.04.001 entitled “Meetings” to Revise the Schedule of Regular City Council Meetings to Change the Start Time; and Making the Change Consistent with Tex. Gov't. Code Ann. ch. 551 ("The Texas Open Meetings Act")

Information

Department:AdministrationSponsors:
Category:Amendment

Attachments

  1. Printout

Item Discussion

PURPOSE

 

This item was placed on the City Council agenda for City Council to revisit an amendment to the start time set by City Council for Regular City Council meetings. The amendment was made on June 6, 2017, to move the start time from 7:00 PM to 6:00 PM provided that it was a three month trial period.

 

As stated on June 6, 2017:

 

A motion was made by Council Member Benny Martinez to keep the Regular City Council meetings with a start time of 7:00 PM. There was no second to this motion. The motion failed.

 

A motion was made by Council Member David Edwards and seconded by Council Member David Jordan to table the item until the July 18, 2017, City Council meeting for further study and staff recommendation. Before a vote could be taken, Council Member Edwards withdrew his motion.

 

A motion was made by Council Member David Edwards and seconded by Council Member David Jordan to change the start time of Regular City Council meetings from 7:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Council Member Benny Martinez asked to amend the motion to include a three (3) month trial period and to revisit the item in September of 2017. Council Member David Edwards accepted the amendment.  All members voted in favor of the motion.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

 

None

 

STRATEGIC GOALS

 

N/A

 

Document Comments

RECOMMENDATION

 

Staff recommends that the City Council approve this ordinance indicating a new start time or take no action and leave the start time for Regular City Council meetings at 6:00 p.m. whichever pleases the Council.

 

 

Body

AUTHORIZING THE AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 1, ARTICLE 1.04, SECTION 1.04.001 OF THE LEON VALLEY CODE OF ORDINANCES, ENTITLED “MEETINGS”, TO REVISE THE SCHEDULE OF REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS TO CHANGE THE START TIME; AND MAKING THE CHANGE CONSISTENT WITH TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE CHAPTER 551 (“THE TEXAS OPEN MEETINGS ACT”).

 

WHEREAS, the City of Leon Valley’s Code of Ordinances was amended on June 6, 2017 and provides that a regular council meeting shall be held on both the first and third Tuesdays of each month beginning at 6:00 p.m.; and

 

WHEREAS, it has been established that starting meetings at an earlier time will better accommodate citizens, presenters, City Council members and staff; and

 

WHEREAS, it is desirable that Regular City Council meetings should begin at 6:00 p.m., for a trial period of three (3) months.; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Council of Leon Valley desires to authorize the amendment of Chapter 1, Article 1.04, Section 1.04.001 of the Leon Valley Code of Ordinances, entitled “Meetings”, to revise the schedule of Regular City Council Meetings to change the start time;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LEON VALLEY, TEXAS, THAT:

 

SECTION 1. Chapter 1, Article 1.04, Section 1.04.001, entitled Meetings is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“A regular council meeting shall be held on both the first and third Tuesdays of each month beginning at _____ p.m. Regular City Council meetings may be cancelled or rescheduled, and the meeting time adjusted upon a majority vote by City Council.  Special meetings may be called as provided by law. Meetings of the council shall always be open to the general public except as may be specifically provided by state law, and no vote or action of any kind shall ever be taken by the council except at a regular meeting or at a lawfully called Special meeting. In the event that the meeting date falls on a holiday, the meeting will be rescheduled to the following Tuesday.”

 

 

SECTION 2.              This Ordinance shall be effective immediately upon passage by four (4) or more affirmative votes; otherwise, it shall be effective on the tenth (10th) day after passage.

 

 

Meeting History

Sep 12, 2017 6:00 PM  City Council Special Meeting

Mayor Chris Riley introduced this item which was placed on tonight’s agenda for City Council to revisit an amendment to the start time set by City Council for Regular City Council meetings. The amendment was made on June 6, 2017, to move the start time from 7:00 PM to 6:00 PM provided that it was a three month trial period.

As stated on June 6, 2017:

A motion was made by Council Member Benny Martinez to keep the Regular City Council meetings with a start time of 7:00 PM. There was no second to this motion. The motion failed.

A motion was made by Council Member David Edwards and seconded by Council Member David Jordan to table the item until the July 18, 2017, City Council meeting for further study and staff recommendation. Before a vote could be taken, Council Member Edwards withdrew his motion.

A motion was made by Council Member David Edwards and seconded by Council Member David Jordan to change the start time of Regular City Council meetings from 7:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Council Member Benny Martinez asked to amend the motion to include a three (3) month trial period and to revisit the item in September of 2017. Council Member David Edwards accepted the amendment. All members voted in favor of the motion.

Mayor Riley asked who and why this was ever placed on the June agenda in the first place. Council Member Monica Alcocer reminded Mayor Riley that the item was originally presented in June based on discussion held at the May 2017 Council/Manager Retreat. Council Member Alcocer noted that this was discussed at length at the retreat and that there was a consensus among all of the Council Members to start the meetings at 5:30 p.m. but in June, it was voted to start at 6:00 p.m. instead. Council Member Alcocer also added that she was not in attendance at the June meeting when the change was voted on. Mayor Riley thanked Council Member Alcocer for reminding her of this and that she did recall that discussion.

Mayor Riley continued the discussion with start times of all of the meetings held since June. This information provided a breakdown of executive sessions, presentations and regular agenda item start times.

Council Member Alcocer presented information she had gathered on what other cities are doing with regards to meeting start times.

Council Member Benny Martinez said that he believed the three (3) month trial period for the 6:00 p.m. start time was a “complete failure” and that this change was just a band aid to the real problem which is that “we have too many presentations”. Council Member Martinez said that the agenda needs to be streamline.

Council Member David Edwards said he takes offense to the comment made about Council Members not being prepared and that he tries very hard to avoid idiotic questions. Council Member Edwards added that we need to celebrate citizens, volunteers and staff with presentations as we have been but maybe there is some room for compromise.

Council Member Belinda Ealy said she did not see a need to change right now and that people like getting home early.

Council Member David Jordan said that he also takes issue with the comment made about preparing for meetings as he does do due diligence and prepare. Council Member Jordan added that everyone on the dais has obligations that they have to work around in order to serve the public. Council Member Jordan supports leaving the meetings at 6:00 p.m.

City Manager Kelly Kuenstler added that she received a phone call prior to this meeting from Walter Geraghty who said Council Member Benny Martinez asked that he come speak at tonight’s meeting in support of moving the meeting start times back to 7:00 p.m. Mr. Geraghty said he is in support and Ms. Kuenstler relayed that to the Council on his behalf.

Mayor Riley said in her tenure as Mayor, the Council had never considered an earlier start time as stated by former Council Member Paul Biever. Mayor Riley also said she took great offense to the comments about the incompetence of the City Council and them not being prepared. Mayor Riley agreed that the agenda could be streamlined and possibly place limitations on the number of presentations and the actual length of the presentation per meeting. Mayor Riley said her biggest concern is executive sessions because “we have to have them” and she does not like starting the regular meeting late because of them.

Mayor Riley said that she would respectfully ask that if the meetings start time remain at 6:00 p.m. that the executive sessions begin at the end of the meeting.

A motion was made by Council Member Monica Alcocer and seconded by Council Member Belinda Ealy to leave Regular City Council meetings start time at 6:00 p.m. The City Council voted four (4) for and one (1) opposed with Council Member Benny Martinez casting the negative vote. Mayor Riley announced that the motion carried.

Mayor Riley stated, “I set the agenda so you all know where I’m going. We will not be late for our people anymore at the 6:00 p.m. meeting that is my executive decision.”

RESULT:DENIED [4 TO 1]
MOVER:Monica Alcocer, Council Place 3
SECONDER:Belinda Ealy, Council Place 2
AYES:David Edwards, Belinda Ealy, Monica Alcocer, David Jordan
NAYS:Benny Martinez

Discussion