Changing Village Monthly Meeting Hours – A Failed Experiment with Good Intentions | November 16, 2009
For the last three months, in an effort to obtain legal advice at a reasonable cost, the Village’s monthly meetings are being started at 7:30 PM. However, in order to contain these legal costs, the Trustees go immediately into Executive Session and the public has no idea when the Trustees will open the meeting to the public. November’s public session did not begin until 8:57 PM. Not only is public participation in the monthly meetings discouraged by the current experiment, but it also holds up the Police, DPW, and Village Office participants as well.
Although the goal of containing legal costs is admirable, it is coming at the cost of limiting public attendance and participation, since the public has no idea when the Executive Committee sessions will end. Are there alternatives the Board should explore that will address both its need to contain legal costs, yet allow the public, the DPW, Police, and Village Office representatives to attend meetings that start at a specific time? Yes. There are two alternatives TPfyi would encourage the Trustees to consider.
First, explore holding just the Executive Committee sessions the day before the regularly scheduled Public Meetings. By doing this, your goal of containing legal expenses is realized and the only five people that are inconvenienced by this change are the Village’s elected officials.
Second, given that four of the five elected officials are either retired [Hayes, Pompan, Stebbins] or have complete control over their schedules [Hansen], explore with Trustee Worthy starting your Executive Session at 6:30 PM so the Village Representatives and the public have a reasonable chance of participating in a meeting that starts much closer to the historic start time of 7:30 PM.
David B. du Pont
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