October 16, 2013 - There will be one less government meeting in Oxford starting next month.
Last week, the village council voted 4-1 to drop its second regular meeting on the fourth Tuesday of each month beginning in November.
Council will have only one regular meeting each month on the second Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Councilman Bryan Cloutier suggested the change. He was motivated by both a personal scheduling conflict and a desire to see council business conducted in a more efficient manner.
"In my opinion, these meetings go far too long and we have meetings, I think, sometimes for the sake of just having dialogue," Cloutier said.
Council's Sept. 24 meeting lasted three hours, while its Sept. 10 and Aug. 27 meetings each lasted four hours.
"I really think that there's not anything that this village handles that couldn't be handled in one meeting and a reasonable meeting at that," Cloutier said.
Cloutier noted how both the Oxford Township Board and Oxford Public Library Board meet once a month and that schedule works fine for them. He's employed as the library director.
"There's no business that this village handles that should have to have two meetings that go for four hours at a time, period," Cloutier said. "I hate to be assertive, but for years I sat out there and I watched these meetings and I just thought to myself, 'This is ridiculous.'
"Not only do we put ourselves through torture for a long period of time, we do it to ourselves twice a month."
Village President Pro-Tem Dave Bailey, who's been chairing the council meetings since Aug. 27, said the meetings aren't as long as Cloutier claimed.
"It's not really the case that our meetings last for four hours," he said. "Very occasionally one might."
The Aug. 27 meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. and was adjourned at 10:45 p.m. The Sept. 10 meeting began at 6:30 p.m. and was adjourned at 10:29 p.m. The Sept. 24 meeting started at 6:30 p.m. and was adjourned at 9:31 p.m.
Bailey believes having only one meeting a month will result in longer, not shorter, meetings.
"I've just asserted that meetings that last until 10:30 p.m. have been very rare," he said. "And I'll make an unsupported assertion now that if we have one meeting per month scheduled, 10:30 p.m. adjournments will be more common than they have been in the past."
"I can do what I can to make the meetings run faster, but I'm not a time machine and I don't think any of the other four of us are time machines, either," Bailey added. "We can't manufacture time out of nothing."
It was noted that council can always schedule a special meeting for the fourth Tuesday of the month if one is ever needed.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.