VERO BEACH – At the behest of Vero Beach City Councilman Brian Heady, the City Council has opted to change up its schedule for meetings starting in February.
The council, which has traditionally met on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, plans to try out a split schedule that would allow council members to attend the Board of County Commissioners regular Tuesday meetings.
“We’re kind of restricted,” Heady told his fellow council members at a recent meeting, noting that there are times when the commissioners discuss items that either affect Vero Beach or that Vero Beach officials might be interested in.
After discussing possible schedule changes, the Vero Beach City Council elected to move the first meeting of the month to Wednesdays beginning Feb. 2 at 9:30 a.m.
The second meeting of the month will be held as usual, at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday.
“Why don’t we try it first before we draft an ordinance,” Vice Mayor Pilar Turner suggested after City Attorney Charlie Vitunac recommended changing the city’s ordinance governing meeting schedules.
Vitunac told the council that the city ordinance pertaining to such meetings is rather general in language, allowing for flexibility. He explained that prior councils had been unsure of setting firm dates and times.
Heady had initially suggested that the council simply push back the starting time of the first Tuesday meeting by a couple hours to allow council members to attend the Board of County Commissioners meeting.
Mayor Jay Kramer and others voiced opposition to the suggestion. Kramer noted that if they set the meeting to start at 11 a.m., they would just get through public comment and it would be time to break for lunch.
Starting after the lunch break, too, would mean a meeting that would potentially run later than 5 p.m. for much of the city’s administrative staff.
“I do not agree with doing that,” City Councilwoman Tracy Carroll said.
Councilman Craig Fletcher echoed her sentiments.
Vero Beach City Clerk Tammy Vock said that changing the first meeting to Wednesday should not displace city advisory boards or committees. Any that would have normally met in the council chambers on Wednesdays could be relocated to the city’s training room on the second floor.
“That would work fine,” Vock said.
The council did not discuss for how long they would try the new schedule before amending the city’s ordinance.
Vero Beach City Council meetings at a glance
First February Meeting: Wednesday – Feb. 2 at 9:30 a.m.
Second February Meeting: Tuesday – Feb. 15 at 6 p.m.