City Council Special Meeting Set for Tuesday, July 11, 2023 at 6:30 PM
The Simonton City Council will meet on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 at 6:30 PM at Simonton City Hall. The public is encouraged to attend and to participate in sharing their thoughts and concerns via “Public Comments”.
The New and Improved Consent Agenda
You will see some additions to this agenda overall. However I want to draw your attention to, the “Consent Agenda”. This element is intended to speed up meetings by including items that don’t normally require discussion and are simply orders of mundane and common business items.
Typically, all consent items are adopted in a single motion, second and vote. However, any City Council member may, without reason, call for discussion on any or all of the Consent Agenda items. This level of transparency is healthy on many levels and is intended to provide a balance between brevity within the meeting as well as clarity of items when needed.
A Return to Financial Transparency
This month’s Consent Agenda includes includes the return of several financial-reporting items, two of which (items 4-d and 4-e) were altogether dropped from City Council agendas around 5 years ago.
- Item 4-d allows the City Council to openly review, discuss, and approve the payment of monthly bills and invoices so as to ensure that the City Council oversight is complete.
- Item 4-e allows the City Council to openly review, discuss, and approve the “budget vs actual” report in order to ensure that the City Administration is operating within the approved budget as well as to ensure that budgeted and approved expenditures are properly classified. Once again, this is a matter of responsible City Council oversight.
- Item 4-f is a quarterly financial report that the City Admiration (finance committee) is required to prepare and present to the City Council on a quarterly basis. This report, which has not been prepared and openly presented regularly for many years is required because it demonstrates where the financial reserves and assets have been deposited, the expected interest rates, as well as when certain securities come due and will need to be renewed. Just like items 4-d, 4-e, this item proves that the Administration is transparently reporting to the City Council how reserves and financial assets are being managed in order to protect them for their use to benefit the City overall. It is good to see this returned to its regular schedule.
Also of note:
Item 6 spells out, in specific terms, that there will be an “Executive Session” followed by item 8, possible action following Executive session. Although these sessions are effectively secret, we do get a glimpse into the possible topic. The agenda says that it will deal with consultation with legal council (the city attorney) as well as a discussion related to an undisclosed employee matter. The city cannot take action inside of Executive Session and any action taken must take place in Open Session – although often City’s don’t take action at all.
Watch the meeting live or watch it later
As before, I plan on live-streaming the meeting via my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SimontonTexas/
In the event that I am unable to stream the meeting, I will post the video as quickly as possible. Of course, it will be presented prominently on this website as well.