Rules of council discussed 2015.07.22

By DAVID GREEN

During a discussion about the city’s rules of council, questions arose about the role of the administrator.

In a committee-of-the-whole meeting June 22, councilor Ron Apger questioned some portions of the proposed rules of council. In his interpretation of the document, the rules would take away too much of the mayor's powers. Councilor Jeff Bell disagreed and said that isn't the intent. Apger insisted that what is intended versus what is written could be seen differently by a future council.

Mayor Bill Foster said the provision relating to social media is close to infringing on freedom of speech. Spiess responded that the document doesn't forbid participating in social media. Instead, it says that the writer must make it clear that a statement is that of the writer and not council.

Apger also questioned the role of the administrator/clerk. That person should speak at meetings only with council's permission, Apger said.

"It gives too much power to a non-elected official," he said. "There are little things in here that could be dangerous to the city."

Apger wants to devote a meeting toward discussion of the issue.

LIGHTS—Audience member Bob Mohr pointed out that several street lights are in need of replacement. In the past, he said, police used to keep track of outages.

HEROIN—Audience member Bob Bender spoke to council about the heroin problem in the area.

"People don't realize how much there is in Morenci and other small towns," Bender said. "There have been three deaths in Morenci."

Bender said he lost his daughter to heroin nearly a year ago.

The problem starts in home medicine cabinets, Bender said, and the problem doesn't discriminate between rich and poor.

There was an addiction summit last March at Adrian High School, he said, and he knows of someone interested in setting up a similar program in Morenci.