INDIAN TRAIL – Mayor Pro Tem Marcus McIntyre noticed a need for more in-depth council training in November.
During a vote for a rezoning, he and the council learned they needed a supermajority of votes to approve it. McIntyre said he did not know this before.
This, as well as other circumstances, prompted McIntyre to ask town attorney Karen Wolter to provide more legal and background training to the council.
“What I want to ask of her is, are there topics that she sees that could help us, in terms of training or policy, that could help us do our jobs better? To help educate us as to the dos and don’ts … things that come up for rezonings or items that come with ordinances,” McIntyre said. “Because the thing is, we are not attorneys … We are elected officials. We ran for local office and that’s why we’re here. But it will help us when we speak or when we receive information, the way we process it, so that it’s in accordance with the law and what’s expected.”
McIntyre proposed to have the training in open sessions before meetings. Wolter was already on board with the idea, especially the opportunity for the public to get involved.
“I think this council could be incredibly productive and I think these learning opportunities, which would be conducted in open session, would also be really valuable to the general public to get an understanding of what you all can do, what you’re allowed to do, what you’re not allowed to do, what the planning department can and can’t do, what the public works department does,” Wolter said. “So I think there’s a huge learning opportunity for not just this council, but for the public in general.”
She said potential topics could include roles and responsibilities of the council, town manager and staff; council’s role in planning and land use; roles and responsibilities of each department; the procurement process; and any other topics the council thinks are worth discussing.
The council was receptive to the idea. Dates for the training sessions will be announced at a later time.