Monday, May 05, 2008

Council Bill 2008-132

...and a refresher course on procedure for addressing the Council

Item 13 is Council Bill 2008-132 and regards the city budget, for public hearing:

"PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE HELD FOLLOWING SECOND READING BILLS. NOT ANTICIPATED TO BE VOTED ON. A special ordinance adopting a budget for the City of Springfield, Missouri, for the fiscal year July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009 and providing that certain amounts shown in the budget document are appropriated for the various departments specified in said budget, and declaring an emergency."

The Council may decide to hold the public hearing over but aren't required to do so. That means if you have a comment on the city budget, tonight will be the night to address council about it.

Since it is an item on the agenda, it isn't necessary to do anything other than show up, fill out a card (found in the back of the pew in front of you) and submit it to the City Clerk, Brenda Cirtin.

There are two times when it is necessary to contact the City Clerk on the Friday before the Council meeting to speak to an issue. The first is when the bill is going to be read for the second time (meaning public hearing is closed), unless the Council has decided to continue the public hearing beyond the first reading. Unfortunately, in the case of a second reading bill, the Council has already heard the public and should you choose to speak regarding a second reading bill, under "petitions, remonstrances, and communications," generally you'll be called upon after the Council has already voted on the bill. The other instance in which you'd need to contact the Clerk on the Friday before the Council meeting is when you want to address the Council on an issue that is not appearing on the agenda at all.


The bill regarding the budget will be read for the first time tonight so the public may address the Council simply by filling out a card provided at the back of the pew in front of them and submitting it to City Clerk Brenda Cirtin before the bill comes up for reading.

The bill highlighted in the previous post, 2008-116, regarding the 1/8 cent sales tax revenue for transportation has already been read, the public hearing has not been extended by the Council, therefore the public hearing is closed. You may submit your name to the Clerk the Friday before the meeting and address the Council about it but you'll likely be addressing them after they have already voted either for or against the bill. You'll have your chance to make a further statement in this specific instance when you vote for or against the extension of the 1/8 cent transportation sales tax.

Suppose you want to address the Council tonight about the Pythian Castle or tell the Council what your favorite flavor of ice cream happens to be, in that case, you would have needed to have submitted your name to the Clerk last Friday by 5:00 p.m. to get listed under "petitions, remonstrances, and communications," if you didn't, tough luck, submit your name the Friday before the next meeting because that's the rule. You would not be recognized tonight unless you submitted your name to the Clerk last Friday because there is no bill on the agenda regarding the Pythian Castle or ice cream. (Now, could you submit your name to speak under Bill 2008-132 and then spend your time talking about the Pythian Castle and/or ice cream? You could try it. I suspect you'd get called down by the Mayor and reminded that this bill is regarding the budget, not the Pythian Castle and not belgian chocolate, and advised to follow protocol to speak to an unrelated issue.)

Now, regarding items found on the "Consent Agenda," that's a whole 'nuther thing. There are procedures for speaking to items on the consent agenda. Maybe I'll post about that another time.

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