By Lea Kopke
SEYMOUR – The Seymour city council spent almost an hour discussing possible structural changes to the municipal code June 15.
The amendments would strike standing committees from the council’s structure by combining them to create a committee of the whole.
Instead of holding several committee meetings prior to a council meeting, all members of the council would meet to discuss business.
The committee of the whole would not have the power to act on or finalize actions, only to discuss them in preparation for the council meeting.
Subcommittees consisting of city staff, community members and no more than three alderpersons could be established on an as-needed basis.
Mayor Ryan Kraft said the idea for change came about during the hiring process for a city administrator earlier this spring.
Kraft said after the city met with several municipalities which operate under the committee of the whole structure, city officials decided it was something to explore in Seymour.
The committee of the whole would meet on the second Monday of the month and the council on the fourth Monday of the month.
Each meeting would begin at 6 p.m., a change from the council’s current 7 p.m. start time.
Alderperson Ryan Kinney said he worried the change in start time could create a challenge for some community members to attend.
“Wasn’t it at 7 o’clock, the council meetings, so citizens that worked a normal hourly job could come to meetings if need be?” Kinney said.
Administrator Sean Hutchison said people with nine-to-five jobs would still have time to attend because the public comment section isn’t until the end of the meeting.
Kraft said if people want to speak, they will make the necessary schedule adjustments.
Possible changes to liquor license
The council held its first reading of amendments to liquor licenses.
They would allow businesses wanting to sell alcoholic beverages to have a temporary extension of licensed premises.
When applying for a liquor license, a business must draw a picture to show where exactly beverages will be sold, Hutchison said.
With this ordinance, he said a business could apply to have the perimeter expanded temporarily for special events, such as drink tents at Burger Fest or parking lot concerts.
After a discussion, the council decided to add a subsection that requires businesses to specify the date and time of events either in the original liquor license application or as an amendment to the license no fewer than 60 days before the event.
The council added subsections asking businesses to specify the type of event they want to hold and to show proof of a liability form or rider as necessary.
The council also passed a resolution authorizing the city administrator to fill the utilities operator position.