At the Scottsboro City Council meeting on March 1, in an attempt to alleviate extra hours worked by Scottsboro’s department heads, council member Nita Tolliver presented a measure to the council to move the council’s meeting time one hour earlier.
“We have staff and they need to go home,” said Tolliver after the meeting adding that the move could potentially increase citizen participation in council meetings. “I think more citizens would come out.”
Tolliver said that she is primarily interested in the change for the benefit of the city’s department heads.
She noted that moving the time from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. would be less likely to interfere with dinner and constituent’s other nightly plans, while still giving individuals enough time to come to the meeting after work and school.
In January, the Jackson County Commission — who had been meeting at 4:30 p.m. — moved their meeting to 3:30 p.m. to alleviate staffing issues and potentially increase convenience for courthouse security personnel who are required to remain at the courthouse due to the meeting’s public nature.
A similar reasoning was expressed by City Council President Richard Bailey when he discussed the measure.
“I like it because of the department heads,” said Bailey. “You’re putting a lot of extra work on them after they’ve been working all day.”
Bailey stated that he did not believe that the time change would likely increase citizen participation, but reiterated his hope for alleviating time spent after the end of the work day for city employees.
“I know that, talking to department heads that it would make it a lot easier for the department heads,” Bailey noted during the meeting.
According to the Code of Ordinances of the city of Scottsboro, certain staff — the city attorney, city clerk and city engineer as well as others designated by the council — are required to attend the Council’s 6 p.m. meetings.
Recently, the city council’s meeting time has potentially conflicted with a number of sporting events that could limit the ability of the city’s citizens from attending the public meeting.
Earlier this month, the city council meeting almost interfered with a Scottsboro Girls basketball game. On Jan. 11, there was a potential conflict with the kickoff time for the National College Football Championship game.
Bailey placed the item on the council’s next meeting and requesting that City Attorney Stephen Kennamer draft an ordinance to make the change. The previous ordinance concerning the city council’s meeting time was passed in 2002.
The council will likely vote on the measure during their March 8 meeting, which will be held at their current meeting time of 6 p.m. in Scottsboro City Hall.