During the Sept. 22 meeting, the Waveland Board of Mayor and Aldermen discussed city ordinance no. 326, which establishes protocol and decorum for meetings of the mayor and board and aldermen.
It was adopted in 2010, Waveland Mayor Mike Smith said.
“We’re going to try and follow it as closely as we can,” Smith said.
City attorney Malcom Jones said he was unaware of the 2010 ordinance until recently.
According to the ordinance, a court reporter is required to transcribe and record the meeting, he said.
“That’s just not normal today to have a court reporter do that,” he said. “There’s some other things, too, that we need to correct that deal with procedural.”
For the purposes of last week’s meeting, a court reporter was on the phone as the meeting was held virtually so that the board would be in accordance with the ordinance.
Jones said he plans to bring an amended copy to the first meeting in October for the board to discuss and possibly adopt.
“That (court reporter) is one thing that we have to amend in our ordinance,” Smith said.
The city now has the equipment to record meetings and, soon, Smith said, the city will have the cameras in place to livestream the meetings.
Also in the ordinance, as it pertains to public comments, it states “Public comments shall be reserved for a time preceding adjournment of each meeting at the pleasure of the Mayor and Aldermen as a workshop town hall type meeting and no action shall be taken and the comments, etc., shall not be recorded or transcribed as official minutes.”
The board amended the Sept. 22 agenda and moved the public comments to the end of the meeting after executive session.
Jones said he has seen other municipalities which have public comments at the beginning of the meeting as well as establish a three-minute time limit.
Ward 4 Alderman Charlie Piazza said he would like to see a three-minute time limit set and have comments at the end of the meeting.
Ward 1 Alderman Jeremy Burke said that three minutes would probably suffice and schedule them for the beginning of the meeting.
Ward 2 Alderman Bobby Richardson said he would also like to see the public comments at the beginning of the meeting.
“I agree with three minutes, but it should be subject-wise, at the discretion of the board and the mayor, if it’s a certain subject that needs more than three minutes,” he said.
Jones said that the board would always have the authority to extend the time.
“The person would have to ask for permission to go further,” he said.
In a separate matter, the board discussed a proposal from Muni-code to “revamp and host the city’s website.”
The proposal includes “construction of a new site, integrated agenda and minute software, a searchable component, ADA compliant as well as an interactive recording of all meetings, Muni-code meetings, project tracking and delivery, bidding and RFP’s will directly coincide with the new book of ordinances.”
City clerk Mickey Lagasse said that the city hired Muni-code about a year ago to compile the city’s ordinances into one book.
Lagasse said that there will also be an “email blast,” which will alert those who are signed up to any changes. It also ties into social media automatically, he added.
“It takes the camera equipment and make each motion where it’s searchable so someone can go on the camera and watch the motion being made and discussion that goes along with that,” he said.
Lagasse said that several neighboring cities such as Diamondhead and Poplarville utilize Muni-code.
If approved, Lagasse said, the system could be up and running as early as Dec. 1, with the latest being Jan. 1.
Lagasse said the proposal includes a facilities package, which includes a $900 hosting fee for the year.
“It will allow people to rent and lease our facilities online without having to have interaction inside the office,” Lagasse said.
Smith said that the city is working to get things posted on the website “more quickly and more efficiently than what we’re currently doing.”
Richardson asked if anyone had reached out to the city’s current website host, Lime Pi Digital to see if they have any updated programs.
Lagasse said that he had “requested a few meetings” and been unsuccessful.
Smith said he would also reach out to see if the city could achieve the same thing with its current service.
According to the proposal, the cost for construction will be a “one-time fee of $7,700 with a monthly hosting fee of $642.” The fee includes the extra $900 for the facilities package, Lagasse said.
The city is currently paying $500 per month for hosting, Lagasse said.
Richardson said that he agrees that the city’s website does need “upgrades,” and he is not opposed to it, but prior to a vote, would like the city to reach out to its current host.
The board voted to table the proposal.
In other action:
The board voted to approve Jill Siemssen’s application to remove a protected live oak tree at 606 S. Beach Blvd. The purpose for the removal is that the “tree is a hazard to people and structures on the property.” The motion passed two to one, with Richardson and Piazza voting for removal. Burke voted “no.” Ward 3 Alderman Shane LaFontaine was not in attendance.
The board plans to resume in person meetings on Oct. 20.
The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m.