Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Coucil quorum is changed

June 20, 2001

It will now take at least four people to conduct business at a Baldwin City Council meeting.

Monday night the council approved in a 4-1 vote, with council member Marilyn Pearse voting against, to raise the number of a quorum from three to four. The council will then review the change in 14 months to decide if it was effective.

The decision to change the quorum number was originally discussed two weeks ago at the June 4 city council meeting.

The issue was addressed because under the Kansas Open Meetings Act, with a quorum of three, two council members cannot discuss city business outside of a meeting.

But increasing the quorum by one would allow two council members to talk freely.

The council decided to table the issue until Monday's meeting so members could get feedback from the community.

Council member Ken Wagner said in the last two weeks he had received positive feedback from people he had talk to.

"People think we're going to have better city government because of this," Wagner said.

Pearse said she hadn't heard the same sort of response.

"I had just the opposite," she said. "People contacted me vehemently opposed. They thought we'd be trying to hide something."

To compromise, the council decided to add a review period after 14 months to decide if the quorum change was satisfactory.

Because the quorum change is a charter ordinance, there is a 60-day appeal period before the four-person quorum becomes official.

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