by Judy Stringer
Sept. 6 city council meeting
Hudson City Council passed legislation that makes city employees ineligible for service on any city boards, commissions or committees. The new rules, which passed 5-1, also set a “cool down” period that requires 18 months between a city position and any such civil service seat. Council member Nicole Kowalski was the lone no vote. Council member Beth Bigham was not present.
The legislation was originally written with a 24-month cool down. During the bill’s discussion, Kowalski said that while she supported barring current city employees from boards and the like, she planned to introduce an amendment to reduce the cool-down period to one year. She did not.
President Chris Foster, however, proposed an amendment to reduce it to 18 months, saying he thought 12 months was not long enough. Council member Chris Banweg concurred.
“I think more than 12 is helpful because it gets you out of a single budget cycle,” Banweg explained. “If someone was in the city working and got funding for something, and then they get to be on a council 12 months later that is approving it, you can just imagine the potential for conflict.”
Council did not vote on a set of rules and contracts related to outside groups leasing space at city hall. Interim City Manager Tom Sheridan requested the legislation establishing rules for city hall leases be “tabled indefinitely” as he, city Solicitor Marshal Pitchford and Banweg work on “redrafting” those rules. Council granted that request and also tabled four specific leases with area organizations, which were up for a vote.
Sheridan indicated that he hopes to have the leasing rules redrafted before an early October work session in anticipation of a vote at the Oct. 18 council meeting. ∞