Janesville56.3°

Milton reduces meetings

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Stacy Vogel
December 19, 2007
— Milton city council members will have one fewer monthly meetings to attend in the new year.

The council Tuesday approved a proposal to cut its monthly common council meetings from two to one, starting in January.


The change was made for a six-month trial period. And members stressed that the council could revert back to two meetings any time during that six months, Nancy Zastrow, city clerk, said this morning.


City staff proposed the change to cut down on meeting nights, costs and labor, Administrator Todd Schmidt said. The city will save money by having fewer agendas to post in the local newspaper and fewer packets to mail to officials and residents, he said. It also will save time because staff members will have fewer agendas and minutes to type.


“It’s just a step in the direction of creating a little bit more efficiency,” he said.


Under the new schedule, the city council will meet at 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month, instead of 7:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays. The public works committee and personnel and finance committee will meet the first Tuesday.


Council member David Schumacher said the council would be careful to make sure the switch doesn’t cut down on public participation.


“The agendas and that are posted and also online on what’s going on, and it doesn’t prevent us from having a special council meeting either, if need be,” he said.


Many council meetings are short now—an hour or less—and few residents attend, Schmidt said.


“If our council meetings were packed with public every single time they met every month, we’d be hesitant to make a change,” he said.


Schmidt expects council meetings to get longer now that they’re only once a month but he doesn’t think they’ll reach two hours, he said.


And if the public or officials don’t like the new schedule, the city can change back, he said.


“We’ll obviously keep an open mind,” he said.



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