It’s taken multiple meetings and hours of discussion, but Rosenberg City Council members have finally revised the city’s rules of procedure. But getting there wasn’t exactly a cakewalk at Tuesday’s Rosenberg City Council special meeting.
Although this item was placed on the consent agenda, council member Lisa Wallingford pulled it for discussion before accepting the amendments.
According to city staff, the rules and procedures have been revised 14 times.
“What I’m reading is that (citizens) are given two bites at the apple to speak on the same subject,” Wallingford explained. “I don’t want them coming up and speaking for three minutes under general comments about an item that’s on the agenda and then when the beeper goes off, they come back at the agenda item and get another three minutes.
“I don’t think that was our intent. Our intent was for them to speak generally under general comments, or if they have an item on the agenda to speak. But not necessarily to come back and get six minutes instead of three.”
Mayor Bill Benton said he liked Wallingford’s suggestion.
Council member Isaac Davila said he understands where Wallingford is coming from.
“I think I’d rather have it where they can only speak at an item once,” Davila said. “If someone wanted to speak to an item, they could speak to it in general comments (if it’s a long meeting).”
The rest of council concurred. “We’ve beat this thing half to death 20 times over,” council member Jacob Balderas said. “I think Lisa’s suggestion is fine. I’m in favor of it.”
Wallingford made a motion to accept the rules of procedure with the amendment that citizens can either comment in the general comments or may comment on the agenda item.
The motion was seconded by council member Steven DeGregorio and passed unanimously.
“I’ll make a little comment regarding these rules,” Benton added. “At any time, we could tweak these at any meeting. If any councilor has concerns about them, put them on the agenda. Don’t put them on your Facebook.
“Put them on the agenda and let’s discuss it and get a consensus vote here in this chamber.” There were changes to the rules:
■ Deadlines for citizens to sign up to speak in advance of meeting have been implemented.
■ Comments from the audience during workshop meetings shall be limited to agenda items only.
■ Citizens cannot speak if they have not signed up with the city secretary prior to the meeting start time.
■ The city secretary will notify all persons appointed to a board by mail or e-mail.
■ The city will perform criminal background checks on all applicants as a condition of appointment to a city board or commission.