Changes Proposed To RFAC Resolution; Council Taking Broad Look At Citizen Committees

by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes and SC Reporter Ariadna Ampudia

Councilman Mike Miller, liaison to the Recreation Financial Assistance Committee, introduced proposed changes to the committee’s governing resolution at the Feb. 1 council meeting.

The draft resolution was originally anticipated to return to council for approval in March, but it will be held until the April meeting as council takes a broad look at the policies and procedures of all citizen committees, boards and planning commission for consistency.

The suggested modifications to the RFAC resolution were to provide more clarity in the requirements of its members.

The RFAC develops, issues and approves financial assistance applications for the Sanibel Recreation Center after-school programs. Under the current governing resolution, it’s composed of up to seven citizens of Sanibel appointed by council with four members establishing a quorum.

Miller said efforts to update the resolution began with the quorum requirements. He explained there have been times when the committee was comprised of five members and three were present in a meeting when action was taken. “We need to fix that, if nothing else,” he said.

The draft resolution proposes a simple majority instead of four members constituting a quorum. It also proposes the committee be comprised of between five and seven members and changing citizens to residents of Sanibel, as well as adding “one year term” to the language.

Miller said the change from citizen to resident was not a substantive change. Council has the power to make an exception, such as appointing a representative from an island non-profit organization. “We’ve done it several times, and I anticipate we’ll be doing it again,” he said.

Changes to attendance requirements were also suggested. Instead of requiring attendance at 75 percent of the meetings, members would be permitted two absences – regardless of excused or unexcused.

Under the current governing resolution, members must be physically present for meetings. But Miller said there have been members who departed after roll call. “I think we need some type of guideline to cover that situation,” he said.

In the draft resolution, the proposed language states members must be physically present for a “majority of the agenda-action items.” Other proposed changes give a little more operational flexibility and eliminates a program no longer offered by Recreation Center.

Applications for the RFAC, along with two other citizen committees, were accepted by the city until Friday, Feb. 4, and new members will be appointed in March by council.

Miller said he “thought it would be useful to have these changes done before we dealt with applicants for the next year, so people had an idea of what the expectations were before they started to serve.”

However, the proposed changes have not been discussed with current RFAC members. Miller said he and RFAC Chair Barry Roth planned to review them in the Feb. 28 meeting.

Mayor Holly Smith expressed her concern over moving forward on the draft resolution because of “inconsistencies” among the policies and procedures of all the committees, boards and planning commission.

“I think we have an opportunity to look at all of our committees and maybe having consistency in many different areas – length of chair, length of term, orientation procedures, Robert’s Rules of Order,” she said.

Council members agreed there needs to be a broad look at the policies and procedures of all the citizen committees, boards and commission for consistency.

Miller said he would “as promised see the proposal for this resolution is at least discussed with the committee in its next meeting, but hold it until April. And we’ll have the discussion about the global approach and see what we do on this in April.”

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