By Megan Kelley
LAKE ORION — Changes are coming to some of the housekeeping measures for the Village of Lake Orion.
During its meeting on July 24, the council voted to approve the transition to summary minutes of board meeting proceedings and approved the transition to electronic board packets.
According to village Manager Darwin McClary, village administration made the request to switch to summary meeting minutes rather than continue with detailed meeting minutes. The transition would mean only information necessary to comply with state law and Robert’s Rules of Order.
“This request is submitted due to the extensive time required of the village clerk to review audio and written notes of meetings and prepare detailed and lengthy meeting minutes,” McClary said.
Currently, village Clerk Susan Galeczka works as the recording secretary for the village council as well as the planning commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and Downtown Development Authority.
Something McClary says is an overwhelming task for one clerk.
“(It) is detrimental to the performance of many other clerical tasks required of the village clerk,” McClary said. “The preparation of detailed meeting minutes is labor-intensive, costly and inefficient.”
Councilmember Nancy Moshier stated that she was on the fence about the change because it would remove public comments made during the meeting from the published meeting minutes.
Galeczka pointed out that having to transcribe public comment is actually one of the things that makes writing the meeting minutes take so long because people do not sign in to the meetings, making it difficult for her to track speakers down to get their names on the record.
Galeczka also noted that transcribing council comments is difficult sometimes too because there are times council members are not clear in what they are saying, or are not speaking into the microphone.
Councilmember Michael Lamb suggested cutting the number of boards or commissions she works as the recording secretary of, stating that he felt maybe the DDA should spend the money for a recording secretary of their own.
While the DDA currently does not use the same attorney as the village, the DDA does pay the village for administration services.
The council agreed with a vote 6-0 to make the transition to summary minutes with the idea that the village clerk would move forward how she felt best fit and that the council could request changes if they found it necessary.
Electronic Board Packets
While on the topic of administrative adjustments, the council also voted to move forward with the transition to electronic board packets, but also to authorize administration to gather the information regarding how much it would cost to make the transition.
This switch would work as a way to “reduce and streamline the clerical workload, reduce wear and tear on village equipment including copiers and improve administrative productivity,” McClary said. “Printing, assembling and distributing hard copy packets is inefficient, labor-intensive and time consuming for the village clerk’s office and police department. In addition, the village’s equipment is not designed to handle the enormous copying workload and administration experiences frequent copier breakdowns.”
The only concerns council members had about making this transition were how small some tablet screens are, as well as the technology infrastructure currently in the village.
The village is expected to look into the cost of providing either tablets or laptop computers for members of council and members of other boards and commissions in the village.
By Megan Kelley