The first city council meeting has been scheduled for this Saturday morning at 9 am. If I was uninformed about all of the facts that have led us to schedule this meeting for that time, I’d be a bit confused as to the reasoning. So to try and mitigate misunderstanding, here are the facts that led to this decision:
First, it is important to understand that McLendon-Chisholm is a “General Law Type-A City,” which means that, unlike our neighboring cities that are “Home-Rule,” we are governed by the laws of the state, while they make many of their own rules through a City Charter. Therefore, state law dictates the manner in which we conduct city council meetings.
State law establishes that our two newly elected members to the city council may not take office for five business days following the election. Therefore, we could not have met yesterday, which would have been a “Regular Meeting” of the city council (2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month), and any meeting that is not a “Regular Meeting” must be considered a “Special Meeting.” Accordingly, unless we wait until the next Regular Meeting date, May 23 (I’ll explain why that date is also not available), our first meeting must be a “Special Meeting.”
I was not made aware of this law until last week. After being made aware of this, I then scheduled the Special Meeting to be held next Tuesday, on the 16th.
Second, to hold a “Special Meeting,” a ”super majority” of the city council must be present, which means four of the five members must attend. However, one of our newly elected members (who was a candidate last week when I made the decision to call a Special Meeting for next Tuesday) had long-planned to be out of town next Tuesday, as they understood that their first meeting would be last night. Unfortunately, they cannot change their plans. Therefore, since my appointment to the Mayor’s seat has left a vacancy on the city council, we could not hold a meeting on the 16th with just three members.
I was also asked to consider holding the meeting this Saturday since their family could not attend the swearing-in if it was held on a weeknight, as they live out of town. Since the City Secretary was able to confirm that all members could attend, we chose to reschedule the Special Meeting for Saturday.
This brings me to the next Regular Meeting on Tuesday, the 23rd. I am out of town on business that day and will be asking the council if we can instead hold a “Special Meeting” on Thursday, the 25th. I was going to suggest the following Tuesday, the 30th before I learned that one of the members would be out of town and not be able to attend, which is why I am recommending the 25th. I feel that it is important for all members of the city council to be present, even if we have to schedule for times that are inconvenient.
The last two meetings have been broadcast via Facebook Live and I understand that we are doing that again at Saturday’s meeting. It would be great to see more citizens, especially those who may never have attended a city council meeting before, attend Saturday’s meeting.
I would like to also restate something that was reported in the Rockwall Herald Banner regarding my appointment, which is that I will be recommending that the city council appoint Pastor Joe McCormick to fill my vacated seat, which will be on next May’s ballot, along with the Mayor’s and Councilman Orchard’s seat.
Saturday’s meeting starts at 9 am.