Members of the Berea City Council may attend special committee meetings they are not members of according to an opinion issued by Berea City Attorney James T. Gilbert.
Gilbert’s opinion was given to the council by Berea City Administrator during Tuesday night’s bi-monthly meeting.
In the previous city council meeting on Feb. 19, newly-elected council member Emily Ladouceur addressed concerns about the legality of meetings of council committees, which include audit and finance, public works, personnel, economic development and parks.
Gilbert gave an opinion of the meetings at the request of the city administration and said, “it is our opinion that meetings of duly constituted city council meetings, which are given the required open meeting notices of KRS 61.820 and 61.823, do not constitute a special meeting of the city council regardless of the attendance of non-committee members which may be a majority (a quorum) of the city council.”
In addition, Gilbert said, “regular meetings of the council are established by an ordinance, while special-called meetings must be called by the mayor or upon written request of a majority of the council. In the call, the mayor or council shall designate the purpose, time and place of the special meeting with sufficient notice for the attendance of city council members and for compliance with KRS Chapter 61. At a special meeting, no business may be considered other than that set forth in the designation of purpose.”
The council also passed second reading of an amended budget for the current fiscal year on a recommendation from the audit and finance chaired by council member Steve Caudill.
Council member Jerry Little asked Gilbert to make sure the city would be billed from AMP Ohio and KyMEA as the contract designates and “billed correctly.” “We want to make sure we are being charged on the contract that we voted on and make sure it’s correct.”
In other business:
• Heard first reading of an ordinance that would repeal a 1972 law that prohibits Sunday commercial activities regarding pigeon holes, and billiards within the city.
• Heard from Phyllis Adams on Children’s Champions Month and Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley presented Adams with a proclamation declaring March as Children’s Champions of Madison County Month. Several events are planned in the county, including the Kent Family Circus that will be 4-6 p.m. on March 16 at the Folk Center. A Kids Mall Madness is planned for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Richmond Mall and a Family Bowling Day will be 1-6 p.m. at the Galaxy Bowling Center.
• Fraley also signed a proclamation designating Tuesday as “Berea Lady Pirates Team Day.” The Lady Pirates won the 11th Region All “A” title and advanced to the state tournament last month. Team members and coaches were present at the meeting.
• The City of Berea is hiring seasonal workers and applications can be picked up at Berea Parks and Recreation and Berea City Hall.
• New city hires were introduced to the council, including Mandy Chitwood and Barry Manley (Berea Police Department), Edison Witt (Public Works) and Edison Witt (Berea Municipal Utilities).
• A Community Listening and Design Session at the Madison Southern High School cafeteria 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday.