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City council consent agenda not intended to hide items

Dear Editor:
Regarding a statement by Councilman Caleb Davis in the Sept. 10 edition about the Consent Agenda: the Consent Agenda format was not instituted to hide or conceal items. I know, because former councilman and local attorney John Kinslow and I, as city clerk, initiated the idea to promote orderly and efficient Council meetings.
Back in the day, meetings often lasted until midnight, and anyone could address the council with petty complaints without prior notice or time limits. For example, a weed in the crack of their sidewalk or a neighbor’s tree limb over their fence, or a stolen apple from their tree! There was unending discussion on every routine claim and hiring and firing, which usually ended with tabling or forming another useless committee of the mayor’s political choice. To use a recent term in the news, meetings were “off the rails” with a mayor once asking, “Can I have a motion to violate the ordinance?” It happened! Thankfully, the city charter and a city manager got us back on track.
Any item on the Consent Agenda can be removed to the business agenda by vote of the council. Nothing is hidden or concealed from the public. Maybe more time should be spent studying the entire agenda prior to the council meetings.
Jean McGavic

The Lawton Constitution

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