COUNCIL HAS LONG TALK ABOUT ITS ISSUES - PRIORITIES, MEETING LENGTHS WERE ON AGENDA
STEVE SCOTT, Pioneer Press
February 23, 2005

The Roseville City Council began to discuss priorities and consider possible changes in its operating procedures, but no action was taken at a special meeting Saturday.

In a 3 3/4-hour discussion that Mayor Craig Klausing said was "rather diffuse," council members discussed several topics they deemed worthy of attention.

"We look forward at some point to getting direction from the council on the big issues on the horizon," City Manager Neal Beets said. "I think Saturday was not that direction and not setting those priorities. It was the beginning of talking about these issues."

Beets said city staff was eager to have the council set priorities.

"Because there are a lot of topics, I think prioritization is very important," he said. "We can't pursue 50 things at one time, so we're still eager to get back in front of the council as soon as we can to hopefully make some progress on that."

Concerns about the length of council meetings had prompted Klausing to call Saturday's special meeting.

"We have a council that's much more interested in a greater level of detail and is less willing to have city staff do some of that work," Klausing said. "To a large extent, that's what contributes to the length of meetings."

The council on Saturday also discussed its operating rules, including whether to modify procedures for receiving public comment at meetings.

"Nobody wanted to eliminate public comment or move it outside the meetings," Klausing said. Rather, he said, council members debated possible time limits on individual comments, encouraging written comments to the council or altering the time when comments will be taken.

The council also considered a proposal not to begin work on any new agenda item after 10:15 p.m. and mandating a recess by 11 p.m. The council meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

Roseville is planning two town-hall meetings in April to hear residents' suggestions and concerns about city issues.

Author: STEVE SCOTT, Pioneer Press

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