Manheim alters meeting policies
BY ROCHELLE A. SHENK, Correspondent
Manheim Borough Council established policies for meeting structure, committee meetings and public access to financial information during a Jan. 29 meeting.
Council meets twice monthly, and starting in February, a portion of the second meeting will be a workshop focusing on a specific issue or issues. Discussion on Feb. 26 will be focused on parks and streets.
"These topics are areas that we all would like to know more about," said Bonnie Martin, council president. "Parks and streets is a timely issue for February since we'll be getting the pool ready for the season and preparing for projects to improve the streets."
Another topic that will be addressed at an upcoming meeting is financial reporting and the budget process.
Resident Lew Jury suggested that issues such as possible improvements to Market Square or the setting of long-range plans for park improvements be discussed with residents at a town hall meeting.
"There's a lot of expertise in this community that you can tap into," he said.
The borough's committee meetings also will be open to the public, and the committee chair will determine the level of public input. However, when issues such as negotiations to purchase property, the police contract or specific personnel-related matters are being discussed, that portion of the committee meeting will not be open to the public.
Jury commended council on taking these steps. "There probably won't be a lot of people at those meetings, but it creates a sense of openness," he said.
Martin said that committees currently meet as needed, but a schedule for meetings should be established. She plans to have that schedule finalized at the Feb. 12 meeting. After approval from council, it will be posted on the borough's website, www.manheimboro.org.
Council also agreed to a six-month trial period of having the list of bills that will be approved for payment available for the public to review at the meeting. Council had discussed having the list available for public inspection at no charge the following day.