Possible Earlier Meeting Time for Common Council

Marshfield Communicates OnFocus: The City Council had a discussion about the possible change to meeting times for Common Council meetings. The Common Council currently meets at 7:00PM on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays each month.

What time should meetings of the Common Council take Place?

City Administrator Steve Barg said, “I think at the last meeting we went to 10:30PM. Staff has been talking about how to improve that. We don’t usually get to the meatier items until the end of the meeting or even in closed session.”

Barg polled several other cities around our size and found that one of the eight cities he polled, Wisconsin Rapids, starts their meetings at 6:00PM. Two start their meetings at 6:30PM: Chippewa Falls and Superior. Most start their meetings, like Marshfield, at 7:00PM and one, DePere, starts at 7:30PM.

Several council members raised the issue of how an earlier start time would affect non-retired persons interested in being on the council.

“Some of us do work and it is difficult to get home, changed, grab a bite to eat and get to a meeting. It would be more of a hardship to me in the job I am in,” stated Alderman Chris Jockheck. “We should not be making it more difficult for the public to get here as well, and if we push this too close to the dinner hour, for us to expect people to get home eat dinner and get to a meeting, I think would be a hardship on them as well.”

“As far as the general public, I would like to have more information as to what the public thinks of this. I can see where it can be difficult for people getting here at a 6:00 time. Maybe 6:30 works better,” stated Alderman Poeschel. “Maybe people can contact the City Administrator’s Office.”

Alderman Jockheck made a motion to leave the meeting time at 7:00PM. The vote on that motion failed 7-3 with Feirer, Jockheck, and Hendler voting yes.

Alderman Witzel moved to table the issue for one month while the city gets more input from the public. That motion carried 10-0.

Anyone interested in expressing an opinion on any change to the meeting start times should reach out the the City Administrator’s office at (715) 387-6597.

The council is scheduled to continue this discussion at their May 22nd meeting.