Anaheim To Consider Shorter Council Meetings

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Anaheim City Council members will consider reorganizing their meetings and limiting how long council members can discuss items, after a series of marathon meetings that crept past midnight.

Since the new city council was sworn in December, it has become common for meetings that start at 5 p.m. to stretch close to midnight, or at times even later, with just a handful of members of the public sticking around until the end. The council usually meets every other week.

“The length of our council meetings are exceeding any acceptable level…and are frankly becoming abusive to the public and to the staff,” said Councilwoman Kris Murray, who asked the council to discuss and take action on the potential changes at their May 23 meeting.

Murray is requesting the consent calendar, largely procedural items that are approved in one motion, be moved to the end of the agenda so public hearings and items requiring more discussion can move toward the beginning of the meeting.

She also wants the council’s parliamentary rules to include a three-minute limit on how long council members can ask questions and comment on individual items, an informal change that Mayor Tom Tait has made at some council meetings.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

  • Nogoodhound

    It seems that now that the Disney well has been boarded up, council meetings have grown long and boring for the esteemed council woman Murray

  • LFOldTimer

    “She also wants the council’s parliamentary rules to include a three-minute limit on how long council members can ask questions and comment on individual items, an informal change that Mayor Tom Tait has made at some council meetings.”

    What the Frack?

    Tait has supported this too? Limiting council members to 3 minutes for discussion of an item? That’s nuts. Some items are incredibly complicated and couldn’t possibly be given justice in a 3 minute oratory. 3 minutes goes by very fast. I’ve never heard of such a stupid proposal before.

    I have a solution. Why doesn’t the City Manager limit the agenda to a number of items that could accommodate an adjournment prior to 10:30 pm? A good City Manager should be able to accurately estimate how long an agenda item should take – and therefore the cumulative amount of time to complete the agenda.

    Blaming it on the length of discussion time used by the council members is absolutely absurd. It’s the duty of any council person to thoroughly discuss the business of the city.

  • David Zenger

    “are frankly becoming abusive to the public…”

    Like having to pay $5,000,000 a year to keep ARTIC open and illuminated. Thanks for the solicitude, Kris.