by Dennis Dalman
The Sartell City Council is considering scheduling more workshops – or at least one this coming July that would be for the purpose of discussing overall budget plans and goals.
Council member David Peterson said in the past he had found such workshops to be very beneficial in getting a grasp of what the city is doing and where it is headed. In years past, such regularly scheduled meetings were called Committee of the Whole and were usually not billed as public meetings – just informal talk sessions after which the council would take no action or votes. Peterson said he would like the council to have workshop meetings once every month, starting this July.
Mayor Sarah Jane Nicoll said a former council member was not at all happy about such meetings because the council member said the public thought council members could be secretive by discussing issues out of public view. Thus, the COW meetings fell from favor.
All on the council at the Feb. 26 meeting agreed with Peterson that workshops are beneficial, good ways to thoroughly understand issues and proposed projects before a vote is taken on them at the regular council meetings. However, most on the council said they are not convinced such meetings would be necessary every month of the year, as Peterson suggested.
The council came to a consensus that there will be a July workshop meeting at which time the members can decide how many more, if any, will be needed in the following months with the possibility of scheduling them whenever there is a council consensus that one or more are needed.