Plainfield’s O’Rourke continues agenda push

By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff

One Plainfield trustee is continuing his push to give elected officials a little more control over what is presented at each meeting of the village board.

On March 6, Trustee Edward O’Rourke pushed Mayor Michael Collins on O’Rourke’s stance that a process should be created to allow elected officials other than the mayor to control the agenda at village meetings.

“It seems that most of the trustees are okay with the mayor and the administrator controlling the process of the content of all the agendas,” O’Rourke said. “While this might not be effective today… the concern is that in the future there might be a mayor that might not have the village’s best interest at heart.”

During a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting back in February, O’Rourke said he’d like to see a change to how the agendas for regular meetings are put together, allowing trustees to add items themselves, or exert more control over what items appear.

Currently, the meeting agendas are created by Mayor Collins, with the assistance of Village Administrator Brian Murphy.

During that February meeting, other trustees said they didn’t think a formal process was necessary, noting that individual trustees can make their own comments at both village board meetings and COW meetings.

O’Rourke said he’d simply like to streamline the process for trustees to add agenda items to future meetings for discussion, and, possibly a vote.

Collins was absent from last month’s COW meeting, but this month, O’Rourke addressed Collins directly about the issue.

“Mayor, knowing you were absent from our last meeting and did not have a chance to counter, I’d like to ask you if you would support having a topic added… to discuss formalizing the process for trustees to add items to the agenda?” O’Rourke asked.

Collins was hesitant to agree with the idea of a specific process for amending or adding to agendas.

“I’m sort of against the idea of putting down on paper that you must do this, this, and this to reach the agenda,” Collins said. “I think… discussion amongst the trustees and staff at the COW would be appropriate, and I welcome that.”
Collins continued that he didn’t want to put a formal process in place that might work for one board, but not for another board several years down the line.
“I have a problem with that. I think it raises more problems,” Collins said.

Collins did say he was willing to discuss the issue formally. The issue is expected to come up during the next full board meeting on March 20.

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