Sussex council defers action on rules changes

President Mike Vincent wants more awareness of tributes, proclamations
January 27, 2023

Sussex County Council was supposed to discuss and possibly vote Jan. 24 on proposed amendments to its 2023 rules of procedure relating to tributes, resolutions and proclamations.

However, Council President Mike Vincent requested a deferral until a future meeting to allow him more time to research polices of other elected bodies regarding tributes.

It was Vincent who had requested that the issue be placed on an agenda following a series of proclamations presented by District 4 Councilman Mark Schaeffer.

County Administrator Todd Lawson said proclamations and tributes, which do not trigger council action, are issued by council in recognition of exemplary service or a special occasion. “However, rarely is the entire council aware of the issuance of a proclamation or tribute,” Lawson said.

The proposed changes in the rules of procedure would require all tributes and proclamations be filed in writing and circulated to all council members. In addition, a council member could request that they be placed on an agenda to be reviewed by council to deny or approve the proposal.

Lawson said, if no member requests to have the matter placed on an agenda, the document would be processed and issued.

In addition, another amendment would require all tributes and proclamations be assigned a number to identify the document and its content.

Lawson said resolutions are considered like ordinances (without public hearings) to be voted on by council.

“I think we are making it much more cumbersome for staff,” said Schaeffer, who seconded the motion for deferral. He added that more attention should be paid to pressing issues facing council.

Council voted 5-0 to defer action to a future meeting.




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