UPDATE: Leander City Council does not reconsider new public comments ordinance

Leander City Council may reconsider changes it made to public comments.

Leander City Council may reconsider changes it made to public comments.

Updated Oct. 18 at 9:35 a.m.

Leander City Council did not reconsider its new public comments ordinance Oct. 17.

Council Member Christine Sederquist motioned that the item be reconsidered. Council Member Michelle Stephenson seconded the motion, opening the reconsideration up for discussion among council.

Sederquist said she wanted the item to be reconsidered because the final ordinance—which restricts speaking time on non-agenda items—that passed Oct. 3 was not clear.

“At the point that we had voted on it, a lot of the issues in it were unclear and it was late at night,” Sederquist said. “I think that in all fairness it does need to be brought back.”

She noted several parts of the ordinance were confusing, including the 15-minute total time limit for public comments on non-agenda items.

Mayor Troy Hill said Sederquist was discussing the ordinance, not the motion to reconsider the ordinance, and called the vote. Council voted 5-2 to call the vote, with Sederquist and Stephenson opposed.

Council then voted 2-5 to reconsider the ordinance, so the motion failed. Sederquist and Stephenson voted in favor of reconsidering the item.

Original post Oct. 14 at 4 p.m.
Leander public comments ordinance could be reconsidered

Leander City Council could reconsider a recently approved ordinance that limits time spent on public comments during council meetings.

Council Member Christine Sederquist, who voted for the ordinance Oct. 3, said she requested the item be reconsidered. A motion to reconsider the ordinance has been placed on the Oct. 17 council meeting agenda.

Sederquist told Community Impact Newspaper she wanted to bring the item up again because the final motion council originally approved in a 5-2 vote Oct. 3 was convoluted. The vote took place late at night, she said. The final motion council voted on included several amendments to the originally proposed ordinance.

“I don’t think anyone really knew what they were voting for,” Sederquist said. “There was a lot of confusion in the debate.”

The ordinance caps time allocated to public comments on topics not listed on a meeting agenda to 15 minutes total. Among other changes, the ordinance also states that individuals wanting to speak on items listed on a meeting agenda can speak for three minutes each, as usual, but if more than 10 speakers sign up for an item, the time limit will be reduced to two minutes per speaker.

According to City Council’s Rules of Procedure, a council member who voted in favor of an item can request the item be reconsidered. The motion to reconsider the item can then be seconded by any member of council, according to the council rules of procedure.

Sederquist said she was never in favor of the ordinance and voted for it so that she would be able to request it be reconsidered at a later date.

“I think people need to be able to have their say,” Sederquist said. “There is stuff we don’t know about until people give public comments."

Mayor Troy Hill, who also voted in favor of the ordinance, said he hopes the motion to reconsider the item is denied. He said he feels the recent changes to public comments satisfy the public’s desire to make comments at meetings and helps keep council meetings shorter and focused on topics under council’s purview.

“I think we just [made the decision], and we don’t even know how it’s going to work yet,” Hill said. “I’d like to give it some time. If we need to make changes, we can certainly do that.”
SHARE THIS STORY
By Marisa Charpentier

Reporter, Cedar Park | Leander

Marisa Charpentier joined Community Impact in September 2018. After working as an intern, she became a reporter for the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. Charpentier graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors.



MOST RECENT

A new barre3 location will open in Cedar Park. (Courtesy barre3)
Barre3 coming to Cedar Park in June

The fitness company offers one-hour classes that include strength conditioning, cardio and mindfulness.

A Leander quiet-zone contract was approved on Feb. 24. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Capital Metro OKs contract for Leander quiet-zone construction

Capital Metro approved a quiet-zone construction contract for two Leander intersections on Feb. 24.

This map from the Leander ISD demographer's report shows a rough outline of elementary school boundaries in the northern half of the district for the 2021-22 school year. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
Leander ISD to begin elementary rezoning for 2021-22

With Nancy Tarvin Elementary School opening in in Leander in August 2021, Leander ISD is considering where to change the attendance zones of up to nine nearby elementary schools.

This rendering shows what the Bell District may look like once completed. (Courtesy city of Cedar Park)
Cedar Park may vote on Bell District master developer’s agreement Feb. 27

Cedar Park City Council may take a significant step toward the construction of the Bell District.

Leander City Council voted to award DeNucci Constructors a $13.4 million contract for Northline Phase 1. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Leander council awards $13.4M contract for Northline

Leander city council voted unanimously to award DeNucci Constructors LLC a $13,418,537 construction contract Feb. 20.

State Sen. Kirk Watson announced his resignation from state government Feb. 18. A number of local politicians have expressed interest in the seat.
Who is interested in Kirk Watson’s Senate seat? Here is where local members of the state House stand

State Reps. Gina Hinojosa and Eddie Rodriguez say they are "seriously considering" a run for the District 14 seat.

Fight over sales market data means Travis County home appraisals will not change this year, area schools may suffer

Travis Central Appraisal District will not appraise residential properties this year following a cease-and-desist order from the Austin Board of Realtors prohibiting use of its sales price data.

Leander
Leander may authorize $13.4M for first phase of Northline at Feb. 20 meeting

City Council will decide whether to award DeNucci Constructors LLC a $13,418,537 construction contract at its Feb. 20 meeting.

Williamson County residential home sales increased 11.6% year over year, according to an Austin Board of Realtors January housing market report. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County sees increase in year-over-year residential home sales in January

Williamson County residential home sales increased 11.6% year over year, according to an Austin Board of Realtors January housing market report.

Cedar Park charity celebrates 10 years of donating to schools

HC4A, or HIndu Charities for America, is celebrating its 10th anniversary,

Abed Yaghi makes a margherita pizza. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
Yaghi's New York Pizzeria offering fresh yet affordable options since 1999

There are eight Yaghi's locations in the Austin area.

Trendmaker Homes Austin, a design studio that provides a range of appliances, countertops, fixtures and other interior and exterior features, opened Feb. 12. (Courtesy Trendmaker Homes Austin)
Trendmaker Homes Austin opens new design studio

Trendmaker Homes Austin, a design studio that provides a range of appliances, countertops, fixtures and other interior and exterior features, opened Feb. 12.

Back to top