Monday’s Smyrna City Council meeting clocked in at 50 minutes after the governing body tabled several items from its already brief agenda.
A public hearing regarding the approval of Smyrna’s film ordinance and Ward 5 Council Representative Susan Wilkinson’s appointment to the tree board were both tabled till the May 7 meeting.
The agenda’s other items, and the approval of a privilege license for Georgia Auto Pawn, all passed 6-0. Teri Anulewicz, Ward 3 Council representative, was absent. Couple the short agenda with only two speakers during citizen input and that makes a 50-minute meeting.
During committee reports, Wade Lnenicka, Ward 6 Council representative, addressed a constituent who contacted him about moving citizen input to the beginning of Council meetings. Lnenicka said he felt its placement at the end of the meeting was appropriate.
He also noted that there are multiple, more expedient ways citizens can get in touch with elected officials and city staff including by email or phone. Contact information for City Council members and staff can be found on the city’s website. He said citizens can also file complaints or ask questions through the city’s customer service portal.
“There are a lot of ways you can contact your elected officials or senior staff and get their attention,” he said. “To speak before the body is important, but it’s not the primary way that citizens should look to get business done. Why wait every two weeks to speak when you can do business every single day?”
During citizen input Alex Backry, a regular speaker, “respectfully disagreed.”
“I remember the old days when we had to wait two and three hours to speak for three minutes,” he said. “It turned off a lot of people that couldn’t wait that left. It’s a reasonable request to have it at the beginning of the meetings.”
Backry asked that the Council vote to put citizen input at the beginning of meetings at the next Council meeting Monday, April 16.