In Surprise Move, City Council Reins in Mayor’s Control Over Meeting Agendas

Dixon Mayor Jack Batchelor and city staff and the city attorney thought a proposed “Handbook for the City of Dixon” resolution would be easily adopted. But comments by the public and City Councilman Ted Hickman convinced the other council members to insist on a major change.
Under the Handbook only the Mayor, City Manager and City Attorney could place matters on the council’s meeting agendas unilaterally. Other members of the council would have to get council support at a council meeting to add agenda items for a future meeting.
Hickman noted each councilmember is elected by the people, while the City Manager and City Attorney are not. He also pointed out the Mayor chairs the council meetings, but otherwise has not additional powers above those of others on the council. He objected to setting up a “strong Mayor” form of government for Dixon.
Input from the Public asserted the proposed method would either require councilmembers to violate the Brown Act to place items on the agenda, or would delay even crucial matters for two weeks or longer.
Recognizing their own rights were at stake, other councilmembers – particularly Steve Bird – insisted that councilmembers, including the Mayor should be able to place items on the agenda at a one meeting for a future meeting
The council instructed the City Attorney to revise the Handbook accordingly.

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