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Rules of procedure committee formed; special permit committee reconvened

By Jessica Coates
jessica.coates@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council is moving forward with two new committees, both of which could mean changes in the way the city operates.

First, at their Tuesday meeting, the Council decided to form a committee that will review potential changes to how City Council meetings are run.

Mayor Al Heggins first brought up the idea of moving away from the council’s traditional rules at its Jan. 2 meeting.

Like many other large and small government bodies, the Salisbury City Council follows Robert’s Rules of Order.

But, as Heggins demonstrated at Tuesday’s meeting, Robert’s Rules are extremely detailed.

For the demonstration, Heggins brought a copy of a book recommended by the UNC School of Government, “Suggested Rules of Procedure for a City Council.” The book is about 75 pages long.

Heggins also brought a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order, which is approximately 670 pages long.

“You see the difference in size,” Heggins said. “Which is why the School of Government suggests that we come up with our own rules and procedures for us to use so that every council member is familiar with the rules and procedure and so that meetings will move more efficiently.”

Part of the job of the committee, which will be chaired by Heggins and include Councilwoman Karen Alexander, will be to decide whether to follow the book recommended by the School of Government or to make rules that are personalized to Salisbury.

“But it definitely would make sense to do that committee and (have them) come back with recommendations,” Councilman Brian Miller said.

Near the end of the meeting, the Council also voted to reconvene the Special Event Permit committee.

Miller and Councilman David Post spent approximately 10 months last year meeting with community members in an attempt to update the nearly 40-year-old special event permit ordinance.

In the newly reconvened committee, the councilmen will focus on updating the First Amendment portions of the ordinance.

The first meeting date has not been set for either committee.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

 

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