Too Many Absences Force Reschedule of Monday’s Council
By Brandi Makuski
Monday’s City Council meeting wasn’t a big enough draw for its elected members – so the meeting had to be rescheduled.
Regular City Council meetings are held on the third Monday of each month. Under state law, a minimum of two-thirds of the council — what’s known as a “quorum” — must be present before it can take action on any agenda items.
Ald. Mary McComb was ill, according to City Clerk John Moe, while Mayor Mike Wiza was on vacation. Councilwoman Meleesa Johnson was excused for an undisclosed reason, and Ald. David Shorr was running late on his way back from Iowa City. Ald. Cathy Dugan was absent because she was preparing for an out-of-town trip the following morning.
Council President Mike Phillips presided over the meeting in Wiza’s absence, which meant only six council members were in a position to vote. That left the council two members short to legally conduct city business, according to City Attorney Andrew Beveridge.
“We would need two additional alder persons to appear,” Beveridge said, adding the council had the option to send police to Dugan’s home and compel her to attend as soon as Shorr arrived. Phillips recessed the meeting for about 15 minutes to await his arrival.
The council opted instead to reschedule the meeting for 7 PM on Jan. 18.
Phillips presented a plaque of appreciation to outgoing Public Works Director Scott Schatschneider, whose last day with the city was Tuesday, after the meeting ended.