Upcoming Public Hearings At City Council

Important changes to the way laws are made will be one of the subjects at the next Deer Park City Council meeting. The public hearing is one of the more important opportunities to make your voice heard.

The three reading process has been under debate for some time. The Mayor’s proposal would remove the three reading process, while Councilmember Stapp has commented that the law should be updated to include better communication and strengthened.

Current Law

As it stands, new laws are set in place over a span of time at three different meetings. At the first meeting, the new law is announced by reading the title. At the second meeting, there is a public hearing to allow interested people a chance to provide their point of view to the council. At the third meeting, the council members debate the law, can make amendments, and then vote. The current law also requires a 72 hour notice period for public hearings. 

The three reading process can be waived by a simple majority vote. The law also states that if the three reading process is not followed that it will not impact the final results of the council actions.

Mayor’s Proposal

The Mayor has created a proposal that would remove the three reading process. It would also change the notice period from 72 hours to 10 days. The proposal includes formalizing how items are placed on the city council agenda. It also adds that everything in this new law, including the notice of public hearing, is not required for the council actions to be valid. 

As a result, the public hearing, council debate, amendments, and vote on new laws could take place all at one meeting. Notice of the public hearing would only be required if state or federal laws applied.

To Summarize New Changes would:

  • Remove the three reading process.
  • Lengthen notice period from 72 hours to 10 days.
  • Publication of public hearing would not be required.

 

Next steps

  • January 19th at 7pm – During the  council meeting there will be a public hearing.
  • February 2nd at 7pm – Council will debate and propose changes to the ordinance, then vote. 

Meetings may be canceled or rescheduled on short notice. Please confirm the date and times with Deer Park City Hall by calling 509-276-8801.

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