City Makes Progress On Setting Policy

Members of the Buffalo City Council met for a work session to discuss certain policy decisions Monday, April 16th. All council members were present except Jerry Salazar. Buffalo Mayor Royce Dawkins presided.

The four items on the agenda for discussion were put on the agenda by Council Person Martin Housler. All the items concerned setting specific policy for council procedures. Housler noted that he had requested five items, and only four were on the agenda. Housler had also requested that action could be taken on the items, but the agenda read ?for discussion?.

?My purpose,? said Housler, ?is to set clear policy for procedures, so that we all know what is expected, and we all know how to proceed. Clear policies are needed to be as transparent as possible with the public.?

While the council agreed that many day to day decisions have to be made by the mayor because he is the only person working at the city on a daily basis, they also agreed that a written policy should be in place for situations, purchases, and decisions besides the daily activities. It was discussed that it may be necessary for the council to meet twice a month instead of just once a month.

City Attorney Jerry Nowlin said he would write a policy based on the council comments for each of the items under discussion and bring it to the regular city council meeting April 23rd. The council can then vote to adopt the policy with or without amendments.

The first item was to set a policy for Accounts Receivable. Council person Dianne Ryder said that while they had set a policy in the past to not spend more than $5,000 without council approval, that has at times been bypassed. The council decided to have all bills, except the normal monthly bills, come to the council before they are paid for council approval. This will also include quotes and bids.

The second item concerned the procedures for appointing and approving persons to committees, boards, commissions, and staff. The council decided that the mayor should bring his nomination for the position(s) to the council for approval. Housler added that any council person be allowed to also recommend a person for the position.

The third item pertained to budget adjustments. The council suggested that all budget adjustments be approved quarterly or before.

The last concern was to determine setting the items for the agenda. Housler requested that any council person be able to add an item to the agenda. All items are restricted to city concerns. Ryder also requested that a preliminary agenda be sent to the council members several days in advance so that a request could be made to alter an item or to add an item.

Nowlin said that he would have all four policy procedures written to be viewed at the meeting next week if at all possible. At the conclusion of the meeting which took an hour and a half, Ryder said, ?I think this has been a productive meeting.? All seemed to agree.