Members of the Leesburg Town Council put the town’s resident-led advisory bodies under the microscope during its work session Monday night.
The idea to turn attention to the 15 boards, committees, and commissions was broached by Councilman Ron Campbell, who said earlier in the year he thought that the council could do a better job of using the panel to achieve its goals. Clearer direction also needed to be given to these bodies, he said earlier.
Some of these same ideas were brought forward Monday night.
“We need to be more aware of what commissions do, and we need to let them help us do our job,” Councilman Hugh Forsythe said.
“We are seven minds up here,” Councilman Tom Dunn said. “They are 91 minds.
They’re there to advise us. We’re hoping they come up with a lot more ideas than these seven minds that are up here.”
While no council members casted doubt on the value of the town’s citizen-led bodies, different ideas were brought forward as to how they could be more effective. Loosening requirements on having meetings every month, imposing stricter attendance standards, and making some commissions serve in a subcommittee role to other commissions were all ideas tossed around.
But ultimately, council members decided that what was first needed was to call a meeting with the council and all the commission chairs to understand each panel’s needs, and how the council could better assist them, and vice versa.
“We have never personally sat down and had a plan for each of the commissions and a measuring metric for each of the commissions,” Councilman Marty Martinez noted, saying that could be something created from this meeting between the council and commission chairs.
The council also took some straw votes Monday to clean up some language in the Town Code relating to boards and commissions. Mayor Kelly Burk was also successful in finding support for disbanding the Utility Rate Advisory Committee, which has not met in several years since the last town rate study. She also raised questions about the need for the Technology & Communications Commission, but no vote was taken on its disbandment, as the council agreed it could be discussed at the roundtable with the commission chairs.