With Mayor Brandon Dewey out of town on business, Council President Bob Michalson got a chance to wield the gavel at last week’s Stevensville Town Council meeting. But the ambitious agenda, which included potentially rescinding or amending several resolutions already on the books, completely evaporated once Councilor Jerry Phillips questioned the legality of the process.
Phillips pointed out that the Montana Municipal Officers Handbook clearly states that amending or rescinding an existing ordinance or a resolution required a new resolution and the meeting notice and the topics to be considered needed to be advertised in advance.
Council President Michalson said, “I agree to disagree, Mr. Phillips. We’ve been through this a few times in my tenure on the council. If you look at the records and the minutes of meetings, there are no resolutions to rescind resolutions. I was told by MMIA that that has to do more with county commissions and not municipalities.”
Phillips quoted from the Montana Municipal Officers Handbook and stated that it was very clear that this applies to city councils and town councils.
Councilor Robin Holcomb retracted her motion to rescind the resolution abolishing the Park Board and stated that this agenda item and some of the others should probably be tabled until they could clarify the issue.
As they moved through the other agenda items, which included potentially rescinding the mayor’s Employee Reorganization Plan which was recently approved, as well as a resolution amending the wages and compensation of elected and appointed officials, amending the ordinance governing Special Event Permits, rescinding the resolution funding the Stevensville Main Association Street, amending the resolution establishing protocols for the council’s use of the town attorney, and amending the town’s Purchasing Policy, each item was tabled and scheduled for discussion in a Committee of the Whole meeting before bringing them back to the council using the proper legal procedure.