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Manhattan Beach Council amends bylaws

Web posted February 13, 2018
By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

The Manhattan Beach City Council amended the City’s bylaws at its regular monthly meeting held February 7 at City Hall. Mayor Paul Allen was present along with Council members Janis Allen, Barb Hanson-Wannebo and Clerk-Treasurer Amy Wannebo.

The amended bylaws reflected changes discussed at the January meeting including:

Recording of Minutes
“The clerk shall record the entire meeting including the comments made at the public forum portions of the meeting…. The clerk shall post the entire recording of each City Council meeting on the City’s website so the public can access and listen to each City Council meeting, unless there are profane or inappropriate comments that would be illegal or improper to publish. The City reserves the right to refuse to post recordings that contain profane or otherwise inappropriate communications.”

Public Forums
“…Comments made at the Public Forum of City Council meetings shall not be noted or otherwise appear in the minutes…. However, Public Forum comments shall be recorded and posted on the City’s website as part of the recording of the City Council meeting pursuant to …these bylaws.”

“The clerk and mayor shall prepare an agenda…for each regular council meeting…not later than five days before the meeting. If the clerk and mayor have a disagreement about preparing the agenda or in deciding which issues shall be on the agenda, then the mayor shall have the final authority in preparing the agenda…. The agenda may be amended…upon majority vote of the council members present. Residents or non-residents who own real  property within the City of Manhattan Beach may request to have matters placed on the agenda…. at least ten calendar days before the …meeting.” The Council decided to add a five-day exception for governmental and environmental groups. “Requests must be in writing.” Once a speaker has been heard on a subject as “a matter of right”, a second request to be heard on the same topic will be treated as a requested agenda amendment and must be approved by a majority vote of the Council.

Storage space needed
The City has a storage space problem. On the one hand, it is required to store large volumes of records by statute. On the other hand, space is very limited in the City Hall building and digitizing of records is not an option allowed by law. In what the Mayor termed a long-range planning move, the Council voted to have the City Hall’s impervious surface calculated to determine whether the building could be expanded in the future.

Open Forum
During an Open Forum session, resident Kevin Larson said that the Initiative Foundation has funds available to help guide cities through community planning exercises. He recalled that Manhattan Beach went through such an exercise about 20 years ago and wondered if the Council was interested in doing this again if funds were available. The Mayor said that since the question was asked during an Open Forum, the Council could not engage in a dialogue but that if Larson would like to discuss the matter with the Council, he should gather the necessary information and ask to have the matter placed on a future meeting agenda.

Other business
In other business, the Council:
• Heard the Mayor report that the two new radar speed signs have been purchased at a cost of $7,198 and will be installed by Crow Wing County hopefully in February and

• Learned that two Council members have had training on the City’s new website and the other two are awaiting training. Construction of the new website is nearing competition and will be presented to the Council before payment is approved.

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