By Tim Kowols
District Seven Alderperson Laurel Hauser hopes to address the “myth” that it is the mayor who sets the agenda when the Sturgeon Bay Common Council reconvenes with its new members. Hauser cites an article written by League of Municipalities counsel Dan Olson stating that agenda setting is not controlled by a presiding officer per state statute. UW-Extension Local Government Law Educator Phillip Freeburg says open meetings laws and the commonly used Robert’s Rules of Order creates conflict since one gives power to the presiding officer for the notice of the meeting and its subject matter while the other gives the members the ability to propose and add things to the agenda. This, according to Freeburg, creates a gray area.
Freeburg suggests council members ask for items to be added to subsequent agendas and recommends governing bodies develop a policy for doing it. Hauser says the city developed a policy in 1997, but adds it is not very clear and not commonly used.