In addition to their regular meetings, Raleigh City Councilors will now be getting together for bi-weekly work sessions.
The work sessions will start at 11:30 a.m. prior to their regular meetings at 1 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month. The first work session will take place March 4.
City Manager Ruffin Hall suggested regular work sessions during the Council retreat last month. He also suggested sending out a weekly city manager update memo.
Prior to including work sessions in the schedule, Councilors often referred agenda items to committees where issues could be discussed in more detail with city staff. Councilors can now have these conversations during their work sessions.
Councilor John Odom expressed some concerns about discussing agenda items just prior to the meeting when they are not in full view of the public and questioned the legality of the meetings.
City Attorney Thomas McCormick said that the meetings are subject to open meetings laws.
The work sessions will be open to the public, but will not be recorded for public access television or available on the city website.
Hall said the intent of the work sessions isn’t to discuss topics scheduled for discussion during the regular meeting that day.
“The point of the work session would be to primarily to go over topics and information items that are either going to be on a subsequent agenda,” Hall said.
Hall said if there are questions about that day’s agenda, Councilors can use that time to relay those questions for staff in preparation for the meeting.