New Collier commissioner to propose weekly meetings

William DeShazer/Staff
Tim Nance takes his seat with other county commissioners after being sworn in at the Collier Government Center on Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012.

Photo by WILLIAM DESHAZER // Buy this photo

William DeShazer/Staff Tim Nance takes his seat with other county commissioners after being sworn in at the Collier Government Center on Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012.

When it comes time for the Collier County commissioners to get together, finding time outside their regular meeting schedule has proved difficult.

The commission's newest member would like to change that. Commissioner Tim Nance basically wants weekly meetings.

Tuesday, Nance will propose that the commissioners expand their current meeting schedule, which is the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, to also include the first and third Tuesday.

The purpose, according to Nance's executive summary, is to "facilitate the easy scheduling of workshops, discussion of special projects, public meetings or special public meetings as determined by (the Board of County Commissioners)."

"People's schedules are so busy, it's difficult to schedule a meeting. Someone might be free a month from now, while another commissioner can't do it then, but could do it in another month. We're at a point where we are going to need to have some significant meetings in things like economic development and we have no time reserved to do it," he said.

However, commission meetings are already daylong affairs that occupy the time of many of the county's department heads. Assistant County manager Mike Sheffield said the staff is looking forward to hearing Nance's ideas.

"Staff will carry out the will of the board," he said.

Nance said he doesn't plan to use the meetings as another commission meeting, saying the commissioners would not have to use the dates if they did not need them.

He added that the meetings could be used to discuss recurring items, including employee contracts, before the board voted on them.

"I just want to open this discussion with the board," he said. "I think it would be a good tool to have."

The Lee County Board of Commissioners have meetings weekly. Unlike Nance's proposal, however, both of the meetings are to address business items that come before them. Lee County commissioners also have separate meetings for workshops.

Commissioner Tammy Hall said it makes sense for the Lee County board because the agenda is so large.

"I think it is easier on the public to know that the morning is county commission day," she said. "It allows the public to participate. When you have meetings that go all day, go two days, people don't know where (the item they want to speak on) is going to be. I personally like meeting every week."

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OldMarcoMan writes:

Was it Ben Franklin who said the only time people are truly safe is when the Government is in recess ???

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