Policy 1-9 REQUESTS TO CITY STAFF BY COUNCIL MEMBERS AND THE MAYOR

COUNCIL POLICY 1-9

            Requests to City Staff
                
DISTRIBUTION:    Mayor and City Council
            All Departments

SUBJECT:        Requests to City Staff by Council Members and the Mayor

PURPOSE:    To establish procedures for requesting information, infrastructure projects not on the approved Capital Improvement Projects List and for staff to prepare reports or information for use by members of the Council and the Mayor.

BACKGROUND:    The City Manager, City Clerk, City Attorney and Municipal Judge receive numerous requests from City Council Members and the Mayor for information. Often these individuals are asked to provide lengthy reports or responses that require hours of research by themselves or their staff. When they are faced with requests for information of this sort from two, three, four or even more Council Members and/or the Mayor at one time the daily duties of those offices or departments grind to a halt while the requested information is compiled. With the current boom in building and matters such as BRAC and economic development, our department heads and other staff are already at a tipping point. The routine requests from Council Members are being fulfilled to the determent of the actual duties of those individuals and their respective departments. This can cause logjams that delay approved projects and hurt the city’s response time to our citizens.

The Lawton City Charter, Article 2, Section C 2-5 provides that “ Except for the purpose of inquiry, the mayor, the council, and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the city manager; and neither the mayor, the council, nor any member thereof may give orders on administrative matters to any subordinate of the city manager either publicly or privately.”

Thus no individual member of the Council nor the Mayor should direct the staff of those individuals listed above to provide information, perform capital projects or repairs and for staff to prepare reports.  All requests should be directed through the City Manager.

PROCEDURES:    Procedures for Requests:

A.    Requests by a Council Member or Mayor made to the City Manager, City Clerk, City Attorney and Municipal Judge for lengthy reports, information that requires significant time (more than 1 hour of business time) by the City Manager, City Clerk, City Attorney, Municipal Judge or a member of their staff, or the preparation of a contract, policy, ordinance or other project shall be placed on the agenda for Council consideration. These requests shall be bundled into one agenda item by the City Manager, City Clerk, City Attorney, or Municipal Judge as appropriate and voted on by the council.

B.    Requests by the Council Members or the Mayor for reports, information that requires significant time (more than 1 hour of business time), meetings with city employees other than the City Manager, City Clerk, City Attorney and Municipal Judge or the performance of a capital project or infrastructure repair or replacement shall be directed through the City Manager.  The City Manager shall make all of the requests for those items as single agenda item, unless it involves specific capital improvements or repairs, to be voted on during the next council meeting. If the request involves specific capital improvements or repairs to infrastructure the request will be placed on a separate agenda item for replacement Council consideration.  The full council should be made aware of attempted direction of staff by a member or the Mayor.

C.     If a staff member is asked to prepare a report, provide information that requires significant time (more than 1 hour of business time), meetings with city employees by a single member of the Council or the Mayor that staff member should inform their supervisor who should in turn inform the department head who should then make that request known to the City Manager.

D.    The provisions of this policy do not apply to a Council Member’s inquiry of any city employee that can be responded to in less than 1 hour so long as the request is for information only, Lawton City Charter, Article 2, Section C 2-4 (4) and Section C 2-5.  

REFERENCES:    Lawton City Charter Article 2 Section 2-4 and Section 2-5.

EFFECTIVE DATE/
RESCISSION:        This policy becomes effective November 9, 2005.


___________________________
JOHN P. PURCELL, JR.

DISTRIBUTION:    Mayor and City Council
            All Departments


(CP 1-9, Added, 11/09/2005)