GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In a relatively short meeting, the Green Cove Springs City Council voted to take the first steps toward selecting its next City Manager, and to provide a basic set of rules for …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In a relatively short meeting, the Green Cove Springs City Council voted to take the first steps toward selecting its next City Manager, and to provide a basic set of rules for the council’s meetings.
After City Manager Danielle Judd formally announced that she would be ending her time as city manager after seeing the city through this year’s budget meetings, the council advised staff to begin the process of finding a replacement.
Tuesday evening, Human Resources Director Mary Jane Lundy presented information to the council that asked for action on whether or not to hire an outside agency to start searching for Judd’s replacement.
“It is staff’s recommendation that the city council elects to begin the recruitment and that we would use an executive search party for the search,” Lundy said.
Before the 5-0 vote to engage a firm to search for candidates, Mayor Mitch Timberlake reminded the council, staff and the public that they are looking to have someone in place sooner rather than later, with the goal being that they would have their new city manager working alongside Judd through this year’s budgeting process to get a feel for how the city does things.
“My interest is that we move forward as quickly as possible,” Timberlake said.
Also receiving a 5-0 vote was a resolution that would establish “Rules of Procedure for the City Council,” a sort of guidebook for the way council meetings are supposed to function, including things like establishing Robert’s Rules of Order as their framework, promoting the idea of civility among members of the council and limiting public comments to three minutes.
City Clerk Julie Clevinger discovered that the rules were first brought up in 2012 by her predecessor, but were never formally voted on or considered by the council. Clevinger updated the document and reviewed it with Judd and City Attorney Jim Arnold before bringing it to the council.
“This is not us telling you what to do by any stretch of the imagination,” Arnold said. “This is asking you what you would like to do, how you would like to go yourselves.”
Arnold also explained that much of the information was already written in the city charter, and the rules wouldn’t really change anything they are currently doing, but would provide a structure for future councils to follow.
“I like the idea,” council member Pam Lewis said. “I just like formalizing it, and I think it’s a good reference for all of us.”
Other members of the council seemed content in passing the resolution, but before a vote could be taken council member Van Royal spoke against one specific line in the rules that would limit council member comments to five minutes on any given topic.
“I’ve always felt like the ability to speak all the answers are given is very important,” Royal said. “I think the populace is educated a lot of times by the discussion we have.”
Members of the council agreed with Royal and voted unanimously to approve the rules excluding the section that restricted the length of council comments.