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Originally published: 2014-03-19 10:35:25
Last modified: 2014-03-19 11:14:10

Boone council votes to alter meeting dates

by Anna Oakes

The Boone Town Council on Tuesday voted to alter its regular monthly meeting schedule, establishing an agenda-setting meeting at 5:30 p.m. every third Monday, followed by a full meeting at 5:30 p.m. on the subsequent Thursday.

The new schedule could be implemented as soon as next month if a municipal code amendment is drafted in time for adoption at this Thursday's continued meeting.

For several years, the council has met each month at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday and following Thursday. Previously, the council held a meeting on one date per month, but moved to two per month after concerns about meetings lasting late into the night.

The council began discussing the monthly meeting schedule at the March 4 annual budget retreat, with council members mentioning the possibility of returning to one regular monthly meeting night per month instead of two.

But Mayor Andy Ball presented a proposal Tuesday that included the agenda-setting meeting.

At that meeting, council members could receive information and determine agenda items for which there is consensus -- and thus could be added to a consent agenda for adoption as a slate at Thursday's meeting. Other agenda items would be discussed separately and in greater detail at the Thursday meeting.

Council members agreed that public comment periods would be held at both meetings.
Councilwoman Lynne Mason expressed a concern that the agenda-setting meeting would end up being a longer meeting, defeating what the council hopes to accomplish.

"That meeting likely needs to be structured so that it keeps going if we're trying to be more efficient," Mason said.

The council agreed to implement the new schedule for a six-month trial period.
In other action, the council:

-Adopted resolutions recognizing the community service of Joe Shannon and the late C.J. Hayes.

-Heard a presentation from consultant Alta/Greenways of the final draft of a town bicycle plan, with adoption scheduled for April.

-Adopted a resolution formally requesting that the Watauga County Board of Commissioners reinstate the per capita method of local sales tax distribution.