MILTON — After months of heated debates between members of the Milton City Council, council voted to impose parliamentary procedures for executive and general council meetings. As part of the procedures proposed, City Attorney Alex Andrade would serve as parliamentarian for these meetings.
According to Parlipro.org, parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies and other deliberative assemblies.
As parliamentarian, Andrade would be tasked with keeping order in the meetings as well as provide legal and conduct advice to council.
City Manager Randy Jorgenson said that to his knowledge there has never been a parliamentarian in the history of Milton.
"At least not since (the 1800s)" Jorgenson said.
Councilman Jeff Snow said he was in favor of the new procedure as he felt the mayor had "handcuffed the council" in certain situations by removing items from agendas and attempting to block the council from voting on issues she said were out of order. Snow said with Andrade as parliamentarian, the council could call upon him to give clarification to the council when needed on the rules set for council to conduct meetings.
Milton Mayor Heather Lindsay said it was her hope that the procedures she proposed would help the meetings proceed in a more orderly manner.
"My goal is to have the meetings proceed with respect," she said.
Lindsay had outlined a proposal for parliamentary procedures for the council last month that would include guidelines for conducting council meetings. Snow said he had questions about the mayor's proposed guidelines as the council had rules that were in place for conducting council meetings.
Councilman George Jordan said he felt that in the entire history of Milton, the mayor has always acted as the chair of the meetings and had been the one to keep order.
"I think we should allow the mayor to perform the tasks appropriate to her office," he said.