Council voted 5-0 Aug. 1 to have Mayor Pro Tem Chris Czernek work on Council Rules of Order and Procedure. Council members Michelle Stephenson and Christine Sederquist were absent.
These rules are intended to serve as a guide for how council members and city staff carry out their responsibilities. Czernek said he wanted to pursue this project after discovering the city did not already have Rules of Order and Procedure.
He said he thinks these rules will help meetings run more smoothly.
“For example, if someone is talking during a meeting while we’re up here trying to conduct business, I’d like to be able to have a conversation and just say, ‘Hey somebody’s being disruptive’ or something like that... have a way of doing it rather than emotions being involved,” Czernek said.
Rules could pertain to how meetings and workshops are called, how items are placed on meeting agendas, council and staff relations and the code of conduct for the mayor and council members, according to city documents.
Mayor Troy Hill said he thinks this is a great idea since the city does not currently have a guiding document like this.
“It makes it extremely difficult to be consistent because it’s pretty much whatever you want it to be,” Hill said. “This council has seen it where people get emotional. They say things that quite frankly they probably shouldn’t say. Addressing their government isn’t a license to just insult people.”
Council Member Marci Cannon said she is in favor of creating these rules, noting the city recently created a social media policy.
“We’re trying to elevate our professionalism up here,” Cannon said. “It would be nice if we could follow more professional protocols.”
Other cities such as Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Fort Worth and San Marcos have such rules of order and procedure, according to city documents.
Czernek will work with the city attorney and secretary to draft the Rules of Order and Procedure, and he is accepting suggestions from the mayor and fellow council members. The proposed procedures will likely come before council for its approval at the Sept. 5 or Sept. 19 meeting, Czernek said.