The Silver Bay City Council is considering adopting a city committee attendance policy after repeated issues with attendance.
City Attorney Tim Costley brought the issue to the councilors' attention at the regular meeting Monday, Aug. 19.
Two issues on the council's agenda that night had to be brought to the council without a recommendation from the appropriate committees due to a lack of quorum — the minimum number of members that must be present at a meeting to make the proceedings valid.
"I heard of this quorum issue and I did some research on it. If committees are struggling to get members to attend, you might want to consider some type of policy regarding attendance," Costley said. "I know it’s hard to find volunteers for the committees, but when we’re not getting quorums at these meetings, it becomes an issue. I'd ask you to consider if you'd want some type of policy and what you'd want it to look like."
Councilor Shane Hoff said he didn't like the idea of imposing rules on voluntary positions.
"As you said, we already have a hard enough time finding volunteers," Hoff said. "I understand it’s an inconvenience for everyone else on that committee. But instead of a policy, I’d suggest looking at the people who are habitual non-attenders and have a talk with them."
Mayor Scott Johnson agreed, but said he mostly wanted to see what a policy could look like.
"We’ve had a number of strategies for dealing with this issue including having friendly talks with people," Johnson said. "The problem is, if you have a person who can’t make it for whatever reason, they have a different reason every time for six months, we’re not able to get business done. I’d like to see what a policy would look like. Otherwise we have to wait until that person’s term expires. The policy protects us from having to possibly ask people to resign."
In the end, Costley recommended instead of creating a policy at this point in time, that committee members are reminded that a quorum can't be reached over the phone.
"You have to be in attendance for it to count," Costley said. "That would make a big difference. And we could revisit this if necessary."