Now that the first week of council work is under my belt, here is a summary recap of my experience. Going forward, I plan on writing a summary for each council meeting. This is a simple way to look back on council proceedings, discuss the reasoning behing a major vote, and invite citizen participation.
Tuesday, January 6th: I was sworn in as the Section 2 council representative, for a four-year term ending in 2018. I was also appointed to be the Vice President of the Economic Development Authority, and the council liaison to the Environmental Quality Commission.
The regular council meeting came to order at 7pm. All were present, excluding council member Libby due to illness. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, newly elected council members took their Oath of Office. Immediately after, the council agenda was approved, and we went on to normal business. West Metro Fire Auxiliary President Liz Adams presented awards to the winners of the Crystal Sparkle contest, and Shawn Smith, of the group Light of Crystal, addressed the council on the work his group is doing. We are lucky to have residents who are actively building a close-knit and socially vibrant community in Crystal!
Following the award ceremony, we moved on to the Consent Agenda. Consent Agenda is approved by one vote, but it contains many items, which are considered routine and non-controversial. Council members may remove items from this agenda in order to have a more detailed discussion on any unclear points. Resolution to purchase new Police patrol vehicles was moved off the Consent Agenda, and the council further discussed this issue. The police vehicles are costly, and we needed to understand how they were being funded, reasons for the purchase, etc. The conversation allowed us to understand the details, and the council moved to unanimously approve the purchase.
On to the Regular Agenda: One of the main issues was a resolution shifting a property line for a resident in Section 2. This resolution has been discussed for several weeks, and the council needed to move on a decision. Neighbors addressed the council both to support and oppose the property line shift. Prior to making my decision, I personally viewed the property, and spoke to residents on both sides of the question. I came to support the property line shift for the following reasons:
1. There is no legal impediment to the property line shift- the shift meets all pertinent city code requirements. The resident owns both properties, and wants to move a certain number of feet from one to the other. This is a property and individual rights issue, and I have a commitment to protect both.
2. Conditions were set in place, and the resident is obligated to resolve various issues with their financial institution prior to the property line shift coming into effect.
The council meeting adjourned following appointments to various commissions. I was appointed a liaison to the Environmental Quality Commission; Jeff Kolb to the Planning Commission; and Elizabeth Dahl to the Parks and Recreation Commission.
You can watch the council meeting here.
Thursday, January 8th: The council met for a Work Session to address Issuance of Bonds for the Public Works Facility; Discuss implementing council rules; Receive an update on the new City Engineer hiring process; Discuss goal setting and long term strategic planning.
No major decisions are made during work sessions, and the council uses this time for an in-depth discussion of current issues. The work sessions are open to the public, and are also recorded. I am working on keeping an updated calendar, and encourage residents to attend the meetings. If, however, you can't attend, you can listen to the audio recording here.
Thus concludes my Week One recap! Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. Send me a note by filling out the form below: