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New mayor wants more NPR Council work sessions

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Published:   |   Updated: April 18, 2014 at 02:03 PM

On his first night in office, Mayor Rob Marlowe asked his fellow city council members to roll up their sleeves with him by scheduling more work sessions.

Officials need more time to focus on some lingering, long-term problems, Marlowe believes.

“We need to get some of this stuff moving forward,” Marlowe commented about a backlog of issues.

That could help the new city manager, Marlowe figures. Council offered the job to Debbie Manns on April 14. Depending on contract negotiations, Manns would like to start by June 2, interim City Manager Susan Dillinger said.

In recent weeks, council members have complained about lack of time to study background information on ordinances or other weighty matters.

Councilman Chopper Davis said he gets information mere days before the Tuesday night council meetings. Complex issues require more contemplation than that before casting votes, he said.

“We’re not running this (city) like a business,” Davis added.

Councilman Bill Phillips, however, said he would like the option to participate online at work sessions, probably through a Skype conference call. Phillips said he often travels in his job which could limit his attendance for some work sessions. Davis supported Phillips suggestion for remote participation in some meetings.

Marlowe suggested examining a master plan to overhaul Sims Park at a May 13 work session. He hopes to reserve May 27 to review a downtown master plan.

Marlowe penciled a tentative work session on June 10 regardingthe city’s long-term strategic plan.

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