City manager restructures meetings to save time

James Bacon

Courtesy

James Bacon

KINGMAN – James Bacon, recently hired as interim city manager, developed a City Council meeting structure that should shave time off agonizingly long meetings and give Council a heads-up on future agenda items.

Council voted unanimously Tuesday to amend the city code article defining the meeting structure.

The meetings would start as usual at 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month with work sessions, then go to the business meeting so it’s all about getting down to the vote, Bacon said.

That’s different from the current process in which discussion and action items are mixed together.

His proposed process would create a schedule for future work sessions, clarify Council members’ ability to add agenda items to the calendar for future work sessions during the business meeting, and maintain a six-month calendar for future work session topics.

“The whole idea is to let Council members know that topics that are important to them will be discussed at future meetings,” Bacon said.

Future work session topics identified by staff include Kingman Airport operations, the Beale Street arch, the budget process, curbside recycling, downtown wifi, economic development and Interstate 40 interchanges.

Things that will stay the same include public meetings, day and time of meetings, open meeting laws and separate study sessions for topics such as the budget and water supply that may require more than 90 minutes of discussion and comments.

Councilwoman Jamie Scott Stehly wanted to know who has say over changes in the calendar. Each member will put items on the calendar with additions and deletions.

Councilman Travis Lingenfelter, focusing on the I-40 interchanges, asked how topics could be bumped up and down in priority.

“My intention is to add that as a calendar item at every meeting,” Bacon said. “I can’t stress enough that this calendar is a fluid document.”

The city manager said he would prepare the Jan. 2 meeting agenda based on the amended ordinance.