Through a new ordinance, all council members may soon attend every committee meeting — and not be in violation of the city’s code.
The new regulation, drafted by City Attorney Jeff Farwell, will allow council members to attend every committee meeting, regardless of affiliation with the committee. Two weeks ago at the Internal Operations Committee meeting, Farwell, who recently joined city staff, discovered council members were in violation of their own ordinance regarding attendance at committee meetings.
According to the current code, when four or more council members attend a meeting, by definition, it becomes a full council meeting. Council meetings occur at least twice per month at 7 p.m.
“You’ve always complied with open meetings law,” Farwell said. “But the ordinance didn’t specify what was going on.”
Under the new code presented at Thursday’s Rules and Regulations committee meeting, any council member can attend any committee meeting, but they must remain seated in the area reserved for the general public, and cannot vote. Also, the attendance by a non-committee member will not be defined as a full council meeting.
“We’ve always done it that way, but never had it writing,” Mark Vulich, at-large councilman, said.
No more than three council members can serve on a committee.
The issue will be discussed at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole session at City Hall.