Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rules for the Rule Makers - Passing Ordinances

I think it is time Strathmoor Village has some rules for the rule makers. While the Village commissioners have been busy making rules for its residents to follow, they have not bothered to make rules for themselves. That’s right, our Village has no By-laws!

Let’s start with some rules about making rules. We should start with by-laws regulating the passage of ordinances. Much of the controversy about the easement ordinance is the way in which it was passed.

The easement ordinance was first read at a “special” April 3, 2007 meeting. After this reading in which there were but six guests at the “special” meeting, the ordinance itself was never published on the City website, in the published minutes of the meeting, or in the newsletter. The ordinance was read for the second time and passed at another “special” meeting on July 13 when no guests were present. There are often few or no guests at special meetings because they can be called with only 24 hours notice - a notice that consists of posting a note on the front door of the local bank.

Special meetings should be called to deal with emergencies and unexpected events like the original purpose of the June 13 special meeting which was to pass the budget because KY State law required it be in place by July 1. Special meetings should not be used to pass ordinances.

At minimum the By-laws for passing ordinances should include the following:

1. All readings and votes on ordinances can only take place only at regularly scheduled commissioner meetings. Readings and passage of ordinances should not be allowed at special meetings unless it is an emergency situation.

2. After the first reading of an ordinance, it must be published, in full, on the Strathmoor Village website, in the next newsletter, and as part of the minutes for the meeting in which it was first read.

3. There must be at least one regularly scheduled meeting between the first reading of an ordinance and its passage. [This allows for at least one meeting where City residents can publicly discuss the ordinance and allows for the publication of the ordinance in the minutes of the meeting which currently are not published until they have been approved.] Additionally, the second reading cannot take place until at least a week after the delivery of the newsletter containing the full text of the ordinance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The landscaped ones look the best by far. No comparison!