Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2001

City council will consider quorom change

June 6, 2001

The requirements for a Baldwin City Council quorum could soon be changed.

At the city council meeting Monday night, the council members discussed raising the number for a quorum from three to four members.

The discussion was tabled for two weeks until the next city council meeting so Baldwin residents would be aware of the upcoming decision.

Mayor Ken Hayes said he thought the quorum number should increase to help council members.

"I think this is something that's already out of date," Hayes said. "I wanted to see this on the agenda to safeguard our members."

The Kansas Open Meetings Act prohibits a majority of a quorum from discussing any public issue outside of a meeting. Violators of KOMA can be fined $500.

Currently, under city code, the number for a quorum is three, so the majority of the quorum is two. That means two city council members can not talk outside of a meeting without being in violation of KOMA.

If the quorum number were to increase, two city council members could discuss public issues privately.

"My main driving force is to legitimize what has already occurred," Hayes said.

But if the quorum number is increased, in order to conduct a city council meeting, four council members must be present to conduct business.

Council member Ken Wagner said he was in favor of increasing the quorum number.

"I think it raises good discussion between two council members," Wagner said.

Council member George McCrary said he thought it would be better to conduct business at city council meetings with at least four people instead of three.

"The reality is if we don't have four people here, we can't do business," McCrary said. "I think that's better anyway."

The quorum number will be decided at the June 18 city council meeting. Because the change would require a charter ordinance, a motion to increase the quorum number requires a super majority, or at least four out of five city council members to vote in favor of it.

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