San Marcos City Council adds work sessions, puts time limit on executive session

San Marcos City Council

San Marcos City Council

The city of San Marcos on Friday announced changes to the way City Council meetings operate.

Starting Dec. 5, council will hold work sessions the first and third Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. before the council meeting. The work sessions are a way for council members to go over the agenda without taking any action.

The work session will be open to the public and posted as part of the council meeting agenda. Meetings will be held in council chambers at City Hall, 630 E. Hopkins St.

Currently, City Council holds public packet meetings the Friday before Tuesday council meetings, which gives council and community members a chance to preview the next week's agenda. Council meetings begin at 5 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month and start with executive session, which is private.

Other changes include executive sessions in which council meets privately to discuss legal, personnel and real estate matters. These sessions begin at 5 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays and end promptly at 6 p.m., when the regular meeting begins. Past executive sessions have lasted several hours.

In addition, proclamations will be held at 4 p.m. Monday before the scheduled Tuesday council meeting starting on Dec. 18.

A news release said the changes were decided following a governance session on Nov. 9.

“The addition of the work session is a useful tool to allow staff the opportunity to present key issues to council prior to the item appearing on an agenda for a policy decision,” City Manager Bert Lumbreras said in the release. “This new format will not only provide for better communication of complex issues but also result in more robust and effective utilization of time for council, staff and the public.”