It will now take two council members to place something on a meeting agenda.
With Mayor Christopher Perricone unable to attend Tuesday's special session, the other six council members voted 6-0 to adopt a resolution establishing new policy for future agendas. Perricone previously stated he would oppose such a move.
The action comes in the wake of council's July 16 meeting where Perricone placed on the agenda a proposal to make Mineral Wells the state's second "sanctuary for the unborn child" city. As expected, the issue was divisive and involved protests and exchanges outside council chambers among pro-choice and pro-life advocates, some coming from outside the city to take part in the debate.
In the end, council in a 6-1 vote rejected the mayor's sanctuary city proposal largely on the basis members did not favor the Waskom, Texas, ordinance it was patterned after and over concerns that adopting it could adversely affect the city's new wave of economic growth, development and opportunity investment.
It was at that meeting that Ward 3 Councilwoman Beth Watson asked city staff and the city attorney to bring forward a resolution requiring at least two council members needed in agreement to place an item on the agenda. On Tuesday, Watson made the motion to adopt the resolution. At-Large Councilwoman Regan Johnson seconded.
An agenda item request supported by two council members can be made before the posting of the agenda by the city clerk, or the request can be made at a city council meeting. Once on the agenda, it cannot be removed without the agreement of the supporting council members.
Additionally, an agenda item voted on by the council cannot be returned to a future agenda without at least two members who voted favorably on the motion, or "the prevailing side of the issue," agrees. City Manager Randy Criswell said that allows council to revisit an issue if, for example, a situation changes or new information comes forward that might change council's previous decision.
Criswell said the resolution was formed in consultation with the city attorney and after reviewing a similar policy in another city.