In its Tuesday meeting, the Cortez City Council will consider time limits for public comment at meetings, a new name for the Cortez BMX track and other issues.
The regular meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. and include votes on several issues city staff have been discussing for the past few weeks. Council members will consider placing a time limit on public comment at meetings, which has been a topic of discussion ever since former City Manager Shane Hale suggested it in May, and potentially renaming the BMX track near Parque de Vida, in response to a suggestion by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. In a workshop starting at 5:30 p.m., the council will discuss an opportunity for more parking at Geer Natural Area, code enforcement and other issues.
The council will vote on a resolution that would limit public comment during meetings to four minutes per person and two comments per agenda item. Council members have discussed the potential policy several times in workshops since Hale’s departure.
Residents are allowed to address the council during a public comment period at the beginning and end of every meeting, as well as during public hearings. But several council members have argued that unregulated comments can bog down a meeting–whether because residents talk for too long, or because too many people are addressing the same subject.
At a June 12 workshop, Mayor Karen Sheek said a time limit would also ensure fairness by giving everyone the same amount of time to speak. Council members at that workshop informally agreed on four minutes as a reasonable time limit for individual speakers.
Another Tuesday agenda item deals with an issue Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist brought up at the June 26 council workshop. He asked the city for direction on how to honor people who have volunteered to help the Cortez BMX track and youth program – whether by renaming the Parque de Vida bike complex after a contributor or dedicating a plaque to them.
During the meeting, the council will vote to choose one of those options and approve the construction of an official sign for the complex.
The meeting will also include two public hearings on ordinances that received initial approval at previous meetings: the rezoning of 2310 E. Empire St. to allow for virtual golf and other new features at Mountain Range Fitness, and the termination of the city’s Justice Building property agreement with Montezuma County.
Both the meeting and workshop are open to the public. It will be newly appointed city manager John Dougherty’s first meeting on the job.
Other actionAlso during the workshop and regular meeting, the council will:
Discuss city policy for allowing private swimming instructors at the Cortez Outdoor Pool and Recreation Center.Hear an update on the Colorado Municipal League Conference from Mike Lavey and Peyton Heitzman.Hear a presentation from the 100 Club of Montezuma County.Vote on a voluntary collection agreement for collecting lodger’s tax from local AirBNB properties.Vote on the first reading of an ordinance setting the salary and compensation for the Cortez municipal judge.Hold a public comment period.