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Dixon residents' opinions sought on meeting time change

Council could start meeting an hour earlier

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 12:38 p.m. CDT

DIXON – Before the City Council changes its calendar, it wants some input from residents.

The City Council voted unanimously during its regular meeting Tuesday night to place an ordinance on file to change its meeting time from 6:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. the first and third Mondays of each month.

The council met Tuesday because Monday was Presidents Day.

City Council members want to hear from residents if 5:30 p.m. would be too early to make it from work to City Hall. There also was concern that the earlier time might prevent some residents from running for one of the elected positions.

The change was proposed to make the meetings more convenient to attend, Mayor Jim Burke said.

"It will still allow the public to come up after work for any comments that they want to make," he said. "It will be helpful for city employees that need to stick around here after work for meetings."

Commissioner Dave Blackburn said that when he was first elected, he was working in Janesville, Wis., and wouldn't have been able to attend a meeting at 5:30 p.m.

"I know the [Lee] County Board has had this back and forth for a number of years, as to whether they restrict the people that can actually serve," he said. "Just keep that in mind. It will be interesting to see whether we get comments from any of the general public."

In November, the Lee County Board discussed moving its meeting time from 9 a.m. to later in the day to allow more people the opportunity to run for office. The board voted 12-10 to keep the meetings in the morning.

Commissioner Colleen Brechon said she would be more inclined to move the meeting time to 6 p.m., so people have time to get something to eat, and commissioners can "rehash" agenda items before the meeting.

If the City Council votes to make the change during its next meeting March 3, it will take effect on May 5, in the new fiscal year.

To attend

The Dixon City Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. March 3 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St., on the second floor in the Council Chambers.

Go to www.DiscoverDixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.

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