By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner
(Friday, November 3, 2023) – You may have noticed that our commission meetings are structured differently now. Commission meetings take place on the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m., with the exception of December when there is no meeting. In the past, all items were addressed at Thursday night meetings. Now, we hear all discussion items and special presentations at a 3:00 p.m. workshop on the third Thursday, during which no voting or public discussion takes place. We reconvene at 6:30 p.m. to address city business that requires a vote and for which there is public comment.
In addition, we have introduced an agenda workshop at 10:00 a.m. on the Tuesday before the commission meeting. As a publicly noticed meeting, staff and commissioners are able to openly discuss the upcoming agenda items, which streamlines the commission meeting two days later. As for the Thursday 3:00 p.m., although none of the items require an immediate vote, some may become items that are voted during the 6:30 p.m. meeting.
Let’s take the E-Scooters ordinance as an example. E-Scooters have become a major nuisance and safety concern in SIB.
As part of the new procedures, commissioners’ deadlines for submitting discussion/ agenda items was October 6, 2023. Three elected officials timely submitted their ideas, research, and/or perspective for discussion at the 3:00 p.m. workshop.
The city attorney then drafted an ordinance addressing the desired goals for this issue and provided it to the commission by October 13. The commission discussed the proposed ordinance at the 3:00 p.m. workshop on Thursday October 19, where some amendments were made. With the commission’s consensus, the E-Scooter ordinance was brought forward as an add-on item and was voted favorably on first reading at the 6:30 p.m. meeting. The second reading vote will be held at the November meeting.
Both the Tuesday and Thursday workshops, along with all commission meetings, are open to the public. I hope to see you there.