Sanford Springvale News

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City Council Makes Changes to Rules of Procedure 

At its meeting on June 6, 2023, the Sanford City Council voted unanimously to adopt several changes to its Rules and Order of Business, commonly called the Rules of Procedure. The changes include the following: 

  • All references to the Budget Committee were removed. (Elimination of the Budget Committee was approved by voters last year.) 
  • Wording was changed to reflect that the Council meets twice per month rather than every two weeks. 
  • The requirement that televised business meetings of the Council be scheduled no less than 30 days in advance was removed. 
  • Language requiring that Council workshops be held in specific rooms at City Hall was deleted. 
  • In Section 3, regarding Special Meetings, language detailing delivery requirements for notice of such meetings to be given to Councilors was removed. 
  • Most of the language regarding Council meetings held during a public health emergency was replaced with a reference to the City’s Epidemic and Pandemic Policy, which covers that process in detail. 
  • Language requiring members of the public who wish to speak at a Council meeting to notify the City Manager in advance on the subject of their comments was removed. 
  • The deadline for requesting items be added to the Council’s agenda was changed from Tuesday to Wednesday before the following week’s meeting. If any Councilor feels there has been an unreasonable delay in including a requested item on the agenda, the Mayor shall provide an explanation for the delay and a vote shall be taken on the inclusion, with a vote of five or more Councilors prevailing. 
  • The Mayor now has the option to designate someone else to read a proposed ordinance, order or resolve on the agenda. 
  • A full discussion and vote of the Council will now be required before any Council member is found guilty of a breach of any of the Rules. 
  • Before commenting on City business on a non-City owned social media site, elected City Officials no longer need to make a conspicuous disclaimer that the comments are made in their personal capacity and not on behalf of the City. (The rule requiring a disclaimer was the cause of much controversy over the past few years.) 
  • Also under the section on Elected Officials’ Rights, any dispute or determination of the extent of protected free speech shall be open to review by the Council, but if contested, shall be ruled upon by the City’s legal counsel. 
  • The Land Bank Commission and the Recreation Advisory Committee were added to the list of Designated Committees. (Members of these Committees are appointed by the Mayor after full discussion by the Council.) 
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