The start times, schedule and time allowed for presentations during Celina City Council meetings could soon change.

Two-minute impact

Council members discussed the following potential meeting changes on June 11:
  • Limiting project applicant presentations to 10 minutes
  • Limiting public hearing speakers—aside from the applicant—to three minutes
  • Meeting twice a month instead of once
  • Starting the meetings at 4 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.

Having clear rules of order is essential for productive and transparent meetings, City Secretary Lauren Vaughns said. The changes will be officially considered and voted on during the next council meeting in July, she said.

The breakdown

The proposed time limits would only apply to public hearings and not the meeting’s open forum, which has its own three-minute time limit. City staff members also plan to install a physical timer for council members and the speaker to keep track of the time, according to meeting documents.

Mayor Ryan Tubbs said the new policy will likely include time limits for speakers who have a “counter-presentation” to show during the meeting but are not an applicant.

A similar situation happened in May when two residents worked with city staff to create a Powerpoint presentation for a discussion on a swim school, Tubbs said.

Other proposed changes included raising the number of monthly council meetings from one to two and start the meetings at 4 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.

Vaughns said the city might need an extra monthly meeting to address the growing number of agenda items at each meeting.

“This could ... allow staff more time to thoroughly discuss and address the issues of our community,” Vaughns said.

Even if council members decide not to add a regular second meeting, they could still meet more than once a month by scheduling special meetings.

Multiple council members said they would prefer either starting at 4 p.m. and meeting once every month or starting at 5 p.m., and meeting twice every month. Council members Wendie Wigginton and Tubbs said a 4 p.m. start time would mean leaving their jobs an extra hour early.

“Due to the demands of our personal jobs, it would work better for me personally if we started at 5 [p.m.],” Tubbs said.

What else?

Another potential change brought up was council’s policy on which items are placed on a meeting’s consent agenda. Consent agenda items are approved all at once during meetings unless one is pulled for a separate discussion.

As-is, proposals that are $1 million or more are automatically taken off the consent agenda by the city manager and considered separately as an action item. Council member Andy Hopkins said that policy works for the city as it is.

City staff will continue to work on the proposed changes until the next council meeting on July 9, Vaughns said.