Government — To be more efficient, packets will now be published five days before meetings

As a part of streamlining city processes, City Manager Jacque Betz has changed the City Council agenda and packet publication date.

“We want to try to produce more efficiently to the council with the information we’re providing them so one of the things I looked at was the timeline in place for deadlines for packet information to the council,” Betz said. “What I discovered is that information to council has to be produced three weeks in advance of council meetings, which is too far out from a business meeting to provide timely information.”

While packets and agendas were posted two weeks prior to council meetings, the change will now require publication of the information the Thursday prior. This means for the Aug. 18 meeting, packets will be posted Aug. 14.

“So it still gives five days before the evening to review everything,” she said. “What I’ve found typically in most cities is five days is enough time for city councils to have the opportunity to review the packet.”

Betz said this should be plenty of time for the public to review information as well and means staff doesn’t have to prepare information for the upcoming meeting so far in advance.

“It’s really about trying to produce more efficiency,” she said.

Betz will continue to evaluate the systems in place and make changes as she sees fit for the city.

What the change means for this newspaper is that it while it will be able to produce a preview story in the edition preceding the meeting, those stories will consist only of listing the agenda items without the background to expand on those items.

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