Council Pulls Back From Clash Over Mayor's Agenda-Setting Power | WGLT

Council Pulls Back From Clash Over Mayor's Agenda-Setting Power

Nov 21, 2017

The Bloomington City Council met for nearly three hours Monday talking about, among other things, how to use its time better.

During Monday night's Committee of the Whole meeting, Alderman David Sage argued for a measure to limit the council agenda to issues supported by a majority. That reduces Mayor Tari Renner’s agenda-setting authority.

Sage said that will save time because the council now tends to backtrack after a tentative approval.

"I mean we have the plan, and it's going to be specific and measurable, and supported by the majority," said Sage. "If we want to amend the plan, we have a similar process for doing that where we, by majority support, we would remove something from the plan."

Sage didn't directly address how limiting mayoral power will help the rest of the council. Other aldermen did not clearly say how Renner’s agenda setting wasted time and taxpayer dollars.

GLT asked Sage for an example of an instance when the council was not productive. Sage said he was unable to recall anything specific on the spot. Renner said the conversation wasn't all about his authority.

“It's directed toward how the council can be more productive and staff time can be used more efficiently,” said Renner. "I think that's a very different focus, and I think that's a very productive focus. I think this conversation was, as I said, probably one of the more productive we could have had.”

Aldermen will discuss the issue further at a December meeting.

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