Hello VRA members,
We made it! We’ve reached 2021!
I for one feel the hope and possibility leading into this year. It’s not over; everyone still needs to remain vigilant and wear masks when out and about. Wearing masks is by far the most effective way to stay safe, and we want everyone to have the chance to gather together in person hopefully at some point this year.
In the meantime, please support our local businesses. Buy a few gift cards, some extra purchases, order takeout. Our residential area is strengthened by our businesses, and vice-versa. These next few months will be critical in determining whether many of them will survive. I know from our survey that most of you already are shopping and dining on Main Street. Continue that effort and encourage friends outside of the Village to do the same. That’s what it will take.
One resolution I have for the new year is to spice up the newsletter with some additional content. If you’re a writer or have any writing aspirations (including teens or college students looking for some practical exposure) please reach out. It would be great to add an article or two each month. I have ideas and am always open to suggestions.
Take care and stay safe,
As we enter 2021 I remain optimistic about our future. Despite the many obstacles in 2020, I’m hopeful the advent of the COVID vaccine will bring a sense of normalcy to our community in the course of the year.
One interesting subject I was asked is how do agenda items make their way onto a Council meeting? There are four main paths for an agenda item to appear on an upcoming meeting:
An item is requested by the Town staff or administration. This might be budget or funding-related, a new ordinance being requested, or changes within a department such as when we created a Department of Public Works from our Streets and Wastewater Departments.
An item comes from one of our boards and commissions for affirmation or overturn. This primarily comes from our Planning Commission, although agenda items may also come from the BZA, Board of Police Commissioners or others.
A citizen or organization asks for time on the agenda. Typically, it is a local group like the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce, ZYSA or the Girl Scouts. It is an opportunity for these groups to present an update to the Council on the various activities they have organized within our Town.
A Councilor requests an item be added to the agenda. This might be their own legislation, as Councilor Plunkett initiated with our golf cart ordinance. It could also be a request for an update from a Town department or the Mayor.
One issue we’ve seen in the past is additions, changes, corrections and information sent to us after our packet has been distributed (the packet contains all the information we read before a meeting). While these changes are generally cleaning up errors or attempting to meet a deadline, they have also become a cause for confusion ensuring that we have enough time to read and make informed decisions. As such, we’ve updated our expectations for Council agenda items going into next year:
All items for an upcoming Council meeting must be given to Amy Lacy in their final form by close of business on the Monday before the next Council meeting.
Those items will be aggregated by Amy and presented to Council President / Council Counsel on Tuesday for approval.
Assuming approval, the packet will be sent to all Councilors on the Wednesday before the next Council meeting, allowing for adequate time to read and ask any pertinent questions.
Should a submitted agenda item need later modification it will be removed from the agenda and will be in consideration for the next meeting while following the same process above. New items past the deadline will also have to wait until the following meeting. The benefit of having two meetings each month is that any delay should not be substantial.
I would encourage each of you to attend a meeting to see it in action. They are also archived on YouTube if you cannot attend virtually or in-person (when those resume).