ELKTON — As of October, the Elkton Town Council will begin holding its work session meetings at the first Monday of the month instead of the third Monday, while working toward having two regular council meetings instead of one per month.
Currently, council holds its regular meeting on the third Monday of every month and a work session the Monday prior.
“At least for the time being, moving the work session to the first Monday of the month will allow staff adequate time to prepare agendas, minutes and presentations for the regular meetings without having to feel rushed,” Elkton Mayor Josh Gooden said Tuesday.
In order to allow two regular council meetings a month instead of one regular meeting and a work session, the proposed code revision must be read and voted on twice by the council.
Council is expected to vote at its Sept. 16 regular meeting and again at its Oct. 7 work session.
Elkton Town Manager Kimberly Alexander said at Monday’s council meeting that there is nothing in the charter or town code that says council can’t vote during a work session, although Councilman Randell Snow voiced issues with it.
“If we’re going to vote on something officially, it needs to be at a council meeting,” Snow said Monday evening.
If the code is changed in October, the two regular council meetings will begin taking place beginning in November, and a public comment section will be required at both meetings.
At its July council meeting and at the last work session on Sept. 12, the Town Council discussed the possibility of having two regular council meetings, but only one public comment section.
According to the Town of Elkton Charter, any regular meeting is required to include a public comment section.
If the council wants to change that rule, it must go through the General Assembly.
“If you all want to change the charter, we probably out to get that to a legislature by November so that they can get it into the General Assembly since they convene in January,” Town Attorney Nathan Huff Miller said to the council.
Council did not decide at the Monday meeting if it wanted to request the General Assembly to change Elkton’s charter.
Snow also requested that the public comment be reduced from five minutes to three.
Per the town code, council has the ability to change the time limit for public comment, but no action was taken by council Monday.
Snow reminded the audience and council that if someone has something to bring before council, they can call Alexander and request to be put on the agenda.
“That will give you whatever time you need to do what you need to do,” Snow said.
Alexander said the intent for public comment “is for the people that decide last minute [to talk] who aren’t on the agenda.”
Council also spoke about deleting town code section 37-3 on appointing certain standing committees, but did not make a vote to do so.
Council also discussed deleting code section 37-7 on the order of proceedings for how a regular council meeting should run, though no action was taken.