To the Editor:
Last week, Jim Kelley wrote that he was unhappy with his inability to ask questions during Rogers City Council meetings.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kelley chose to politicize the letter by stopping his narrative at that point, leaving out the majority of our conversation that included important facts.
During our conversation, I explained that everyone has several opportunities to speak or ask questions. They may mail, email or call any member of our staff or council. Also, if an item has a direct effect on someone, such as something about their street, neighborhood, organization they belong to, etc., they are allowed to speak during that agenda item. Finally, I advised him about our open forum at the start of every meeting where he can speak about any topic. This is in line with Roberts Rules or Order, the standard by which meetings are run. It’s how almost every city runs their meetings.
I was prepared to stand my ground on this issue: I had both Robert’s Rules and the practices of literally thousands of other cities, boards and commissions to back me up. But after a few conversations and much thought, I’ve decided to relax the rules by which we run meetings. Residents that lived in Hassan are accustomed to an informal style of meeting. Rogers has become increasing formal over the past four mayors in order to make our meetings more efficient.
In the spirit of compromise and bringing together our two communities, future Rogers council meeting will allow questions during our agenda items. As long as the commentary remains germane to the topic, respectful in nature and doesn’t overwhelm our meetings, we should be able to do the city’s business and satisfy the needs of individuals as well.
Rogers and Hassan are now one community in name. In reality, we have been for decades. I think most of us living here are tiring of the negative letters and media attention. They serve only to divide the community and bring unwarranted attention to our city. It’s time to move forward together.