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News Review
Reorganized Tempe City Council agendas promote greater transparency
Posted Date: 2/10/2014

Nikki Ripley

Tempe, AZ – Beginning Feb. 13, Tempe is renaming and restructuring its main City Council meetings.

The first change is simple: the meetings will now be called “Regular” Council Meetings instead of “Formal” Council Meetings. The term “Regular” mirrors language used in Tempe’s Charter to describe the official meetings at which the City Council takes legal action on a variety of items. It also is most often used by cities to describe these types of meetings. The City Council will still hold Issue Review Sessions, as well as Committee of the Whole (COW) meetings and special meetings such as annual retreats.

The second change involves the structure of the Regular Council Meeting. City Councilmembers, as part of a recent update to the Council Rules of Procedure, returned to a more traditional “consent” and “non-consent” format for the Council’s Regular Meeting agendas. This type of format was used in the past in Tempe; however, several years ago, that was changed so that the entire agenda was in a consent format and could be considered with one motion if none was pulled off for separate consideration.

Starting with the Feb. 13 Regular Council Meeting, there will be a consent portion of the agenda and a non-consent portion:

Consent Agenda
• The consent portion will contain miscellaneous items, liquor license requests, awards of bids and contracts, and resolutions that do not require a public hearing. Anything marked as a public hearing item can be pulled by a member of the public for separate consideration. A Councilmember also can pull any item here for separate consideration.
• This section of the agenda will be considered with one motion unless items are pulled for separate consideration.

Non-Consent Agenda
• The non-consent portion will contain resolutions requiring a public hearing, awards of bids and contracts valued at $1 million or more, and ordinances for first and second hearing.
• Members of the public may speak on any public hearing item.
• Each item will be read, discussed and voted on separately. This allows for greater transparency since the vote of each Councilmember will be recorded and the public will be able to discuss each separate item, if desired. Resolutions and ordinances, as well as purchases over $1 million, will automatically be considered separately, allowing for increased input from community members and from Council discussion.

The agendas for all of the Feb. 13 Council meetings are available at Click the “City Council Meetings” link at the center of the page.