Commission to follow a more formal meeting structure

Published 4:06 pm Friday, January 18, 2013

The Chilton County Commission hopes to have a more formal meeting structure for 2013 by strictly following agenda items in an effort to conform to policies and procedures.

Commission chairman Allen Caton announced during the commission meeting Jan. 14 that commissioners would strictly follow agenda items during the meeting.

In a telephone interview Friday, Caton said the goal is to have more concise meetings that avoid discussions lasting for long periods of time.

“We have always adopted policies and procedures for how our meetings are conducted,” Caton said. “We just haven’t always followed them. In the past the commission has done as the chairman wanted and we would sometimes have round robin discussions that would have lasted 25 minutes or more and covering a topic none of the commissioners were familiar with.”

Caton said the more formal structure will hopefully allow commissioners to be prepared for what will be discussed during the meetings to allow the commissioners enough time to consider something.

Caton said surprises are often inevitable during the meetings but following an agenda allows commissioners the ability to address an issue properly without considering something on a short notice.

Caton said if something is brought up at a meeting and is not on the agenda the item will now be tabled to the next commission meeting.

Anyone interested in addressing commissioners to have something placed on the agenda is required to call the Chilton County Courthouse before noon on the Wednesday prior to the Monday commission meetings and inform the County Administrator Connie Powell of what the topic will consist of to be put on the agenda.

Caton said individuals can also come to the commission meetings 30 minutes prior to the 6 p.m. starting time and sign a sheet explaining what they are at the meeting to discuss. Caton said the sign-up sheet allows commissioners enough time to prepare for what will be presented.

“If someone comes in 10 minutes after the meeting has started and wants to say something to the commissioners that is not the agenda they will not be able to anymore,” Caton said. “We have always had the policies in procedures in place so this is not something new, it is just something we are trying to follow more closely.”

Commissioners voted on Nov. 14, 2012 to hold all of their meetings at 6 p.m. after previously meeting the first and third Monday of every month at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. respectively.

Commission meetings now meet the second and fourth Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the commission boardroom at the bottom floor of the courthouse.

The only commission meeting cancelled for 2013 is May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.

Anyone wanting to address the commission for a future agenda item can call (205) 755-1551.