Olympia, Washington February 3, 2009

Review of Council Procedures, as referred from Annual Goal Setting Retreat __________________________________________________________________
CITY MANAGER’S RECOMMENDATION: Develop recommendations for Council consideration. Recommend procedures with minimal implementation impact.


Subir Mukerjee, Assistant City Manager, (360) Cathie Butler, Communications Manager, (360) 753-8361


City Council Notified: Key staff involved with Agenda Preparation 1. Relevant Sections of Current Council Guidelines 2. City’s Computer Use Policy None anticipated impact, unless changes to City’s technology systems are required for implementation Council discussion and referral from Annual Goal Setting Retreat, January 10-11, 2009


At the Council’s 2009 Goal Setting Retreat, the following Council procedural items were referred to General Government Committee for recommendations: 1. Council Committee Recommendations: Council committee recommendations will be presented to the full Council by the respective Committee Chair, not staff. If an item does not have a unanimous recommendation of the Committee, it shall not be placed on the Council’s Consent Calendar. The staff report will include one or two sentences to explain the Committee’s rationale for its recommendation. 2. Motions/Roberts Rules of Order: Develop a guideline about wording/presentation of Motions so that they are succinct and easy to understand.

3. Public Comment Protocols: Revise public comment protocols so that as a matter of practice, those individuals who signed up to speak and cannot be accommodated within the initial 30 minutes will be heard at the end of the meeting, if they are in attendance at that time. Sign-in for public comment will be closed at the beginning of the Council meeting. 4. Agenda Order - Council Reports: Move “Council Reports” to an earlier location on the Agenda and change the focus so it is less of a report of prior activity to one of upcoming/pending issues. 5. Study Sessions: Begin to use Study Sessions more frequently to address issues and craft public policy. Engage a broader set of groups in the Council Study Session process. General Government Committee should discuss and recommend Study Session format. Use study sessions more frequently to address issues and craft public policy. 6. Packet Publishing Date: Move the publishing date forward by two days from Friday at 3:00 p.m. to Wednesday at Noon. 7. E-Mail Communication Policy: Develop a Council guideline on use of email by the Council.


Items #1-#3 regarding Committee Recommendations, Robert’s Rules and Public Comment Protocols are easy to implement once Council gives direction to staff. If changes are recommended and approved, the Council Guidebook and Council Meeting Agenda will be updated and republished accordingly. Item #4 is regarding Council Reports is also easily implementable. Staff recommends that “Council Reports” be moved up and placed after the “Consent Calendar” but before “Public Hearings” and “Other Business” items. This will benefit the public and staff who are at the meeting on a single agenda item on the consent calendar. If changes are recommended and approved, the Council Guidebook and Council Meeting Agenda will be updated and republished accordingly. Item #5 regarding Study Sessions format is also easily implementable; however, it is difficult in Study Session format to provide adequate, consistent sound amplification and television/video streaming due to limitations in our current system. Committee should consider whether the Council Chamber should be set up with Councilmembers sitting around the table from the start of the meeting or whether the setup change should be made later when the study session comes up on the agenda. The latter will require a 15-20 minute break to reset the tables, chairs and microphones. Item #6 regarding packet publishing date was discussed by City staff. The table below provides the implications of early launch:

Page 2 of 3

Launch Day: Agenda Deadline: Reading Time: Minutes published Changes requested at Council meeting Time to fix technical computer glitches before Fri 5:00 p.m. Budget schedule impacts, 1st and 2nd Readings back to back Bid approval after bid opening date Time for Councilmember’s questions/concerns to be addressed prior to meeting (outcome: fewer pulls from Consent Calendar) LUEC packet launched same as Council packet Staff availability for questions from councilmembers and the public

Wednesday Fri. 4pm 6 days 2 weeks 2 weeks

Thursday Mon. 4pm 5 days Next week 2 weeks

Friday Tue. 4pm 4 days (Current) Next week 2 weeks preferred but can go in one Difficult and may require IT overtime Prefer 2 weeks but can be done next week at times Next week

Provides time

Provides time

2 weeks

2 weeks

Additional week

Next week


Better than a Friday launch

More difficult


No, but consider standardizing

No Fewer staff on Friday due to flex schedules



Under any launch date scenario staff does not recommend launching a draft packet to be superseded by a final packet. This would add staff time and resources as well as be confusing to the public and councilmembers who may read the draft packet and not check (or know to check) for the final version. Packet launch by Thursday at 3:00 p.m. is the preferred option of administrative support staff in the Executive Office. It allows adequate time for Minutes to be prepared for approval the following week; while providing an extra work day to resolve any technical, website problems. Item #7 regarding E-Mail Communication Policy. The relevant sections of current version of the Council Guidelines and City’s Computer Use Policy is attached for reference.

Page 3 of 3