FLINT TWP. — Township board members consented by a narrow margin to a new consent agenda policy, effective beginning with the October 16 meeting.
A consent agenda lists items, usually of a routine nature that require little discussion that are approved or denied in one umbrella action by the board, ,as defined in “A Clerk’s Guide to Governance,’ published by the Michigan Townships Association, It might include, for example, minutes of previous meetings, financial and committee reports bids.
Proposed by Township Clerk Kathy Funk, the new policy passed 4-3 with Supervisor Karyn Miller casting the deciding vote. Funk and trustees Tom Klee and Barb Vert also voted in favor. Trustees Frank Kasle and Carol Pfaff-Dahl and Treasurer Lisa Anderson voted against it.
After the vote, Kasle noted a provision of the consent agenda policy that any item can be removed from it at the request of any board member.
“I give the board notice that I will object to every item on these consent agendas from now until the end of my term,’’ he said.
He said he objected to the policy because he did not think it would save that much time. He also said the board has operated without a consent agenda for a long time and he did see the need to fix what was not broken. He said he appreciated the clerk’s work to bring the idea to the board’s attention but he felt it was misguided and will cause confusion.
Anderson and Pfaff-Dahl did not state reasons for their objection to the policy.
Funk said the policy is designed to speed up meetings and improve governance.
‘The main purpose of a consent agenda is to liberate board meetings from administrative details, repetitious discussions and misdirected attention,’” according to a detailed informational document Funk provided to the board.
Funk said board members still would be receiving all background information about items on the consent agenda but will need to read the material beforehand to be prepared to vote at the meeting.