I received a
letter from Dianne Walbrecker asking who is in charge of
town meetings and what responsibility the Mayor,
Commissioners and Town Manager has at the meetings.
town code defines who is in charge of Town Council
meetings. It also outlines responsibilities of the Mayor,
President of the Board and the Town Manager. The President
of the Board of Commissioners is responsible for running
meetings and keeping the order. The Mayor and the Town
Manager have no authority over the Commissioners at
meetings, neither has voting authority. If the Mayor feels
the Commissioners voted for something that may not be in the
best interest of the Town, he has the power to veto their
decision. If the Mayor is planning to veto a decision, he
must do so within ten days.
this matter with the author of the question, it seems that
her question was more related to; why does it appear that
the Town Manager is running the Town Meeting. This issue
has been questioned before and steps have been taken to
shift more responsibility on to the Commissioners, more so
to the President of the Board as the town code requires.
The Town Manager is responsible for providing a staff report
for almost every agenda item. The intent of the staff
report is to assist the Mayor and Commissioners, not to lead
them. When members of the board are not prepared for
meetings they rely too heavily on staff reports to guide
them rather than coming to their own conclusion. This is
when it appears that the Town Manager is running the
Roberts Rules of Order and Town Policy, audience members and
members of the board shall wait to be recognized by the
President of the Board before making comments. When the
President of the Board calls on someone to speak, he/she
shall be given time to speak without interruption. The
President of the Board is responsible for preventing and/or
stopping anyone from interrupting the speaker.
Although the Town
Manager may have a dominating voice and somewhat
intimidating to some, the President of the Board must
maintain order and allow only one person to speak at a time.
Comments made from the audience, Town Manager and/or other
members of the Town Council should be directed to the
President of the Board. This helps to prevent individuals
from getting in to personal debates. Generally, when two or
more individuals are allowed to get in to a debate, the
issue becomes personal, and each of their personal bias get
involved in Town matters.
I believe that the
town should have open discussions on town matters. I have
made improvements to provide that. However, I do not agree
that the Mayor, Commissioners, town staff or audience
members should publicly get in to unprofessional debates and
involve personal bias in to town matters.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call the town office, or e-mail
me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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