One of the major pillars of my campaign was the promise to make City Commission meetings more efficient by not letting them run into the wee hours of the morning. However, shortly after my election in November, the Winter Springs City Commission repealed an ordinance setting a time limit for the end of meetings.
On February 13, 2023, the commission voted to repeal the existing ordinance, which stated, “Time of adjournment. Reserved. Unless sooner adjourned by majority vote of the city commission, the mayor shall adjourn the commission meeting at 8:30 p.m…” and so forth. This repeal passed with a vote of 3-2; I voted against it.
The result? In just the last 30 days, we’ve had two meetings that ended after 1AM. The lack of a time limit is detrimental to both the commissioners and the public. It’s hard for anyone to make rational decisions or be fully engaged at that hour.
I firmly believe that we need to be conscious of how we use our time in meetings for the sake of efficiency and efficacy. The removal of time constraints runs counter to that principle. It’s time for a wake-up call, Winter Springs. Let’s put this issue back on the agenda and ensure that our meetings are both effective and respectful of everyone’s time.
Let Your Voice Be Heard
If you, too, believe that meetings should have a reasonable end time for the benefit of all involved, make your voice heard. Contact your commissioners, attend the next city meeting, or reach out on social media.
Let’s strive to create an environment that enables not just the commissioners but also the public to participate meaningfully in the democratic process.