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Batavia Council to keep committees

Updated: June 22, 2013 6:06AM

BATAVIA — Aldermen have decided to stick with the four primary committees of city government and meet as a joint committee every Tuesday of the month.

Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke originally suggested the City Council convene as a committee-of-the-whole and meet on the alternating Mondays of City Council meetings, as is done in neighboring cities.

Schielke said he wanted to provide a “learning curve” for six newly-elected aldermen that could draw from the experience of those already on the 14-member City Council.

But some of the veteran aldermen balked at the idea of disbanding the committee structure and reducing the number of meetings to two days a month.

“I am afraid things will get pushed through without adequate discussion,” Alderman Garran Sparks said.

“The city didn’t stop when I was elected,” Alderman Susan Stark said. “This is really sitting badly with me to change the way the city runs to accommodate new aldermen. When I wanted to learn about [the issues] I attended the meetings.”

Alderman Lucy Thelin Atac said she supported the idea of attending one meeting a week as a committee-of-the-whole.

“All of us will be on the ground floor of each discussion,” she said.

The mayor convened this week’s first meeting of the newly formed City Council as a “joint committee.” The mayor said he was waiting for aldermen to submit their interests on which of the four committees they wanted to serve. The four committees are City Services, Community Development, Public Utilities and Government Services.

Alderman Steve Vasillion offered the idea of keeping the four committees and meeting on the four Tuesdays of the month. Aldermen said they could go along with it, but were concerned how late the meetings would be.

“We’ll do the best we can to arbitrarily set how late we will go,” Schielke said.

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