The Aberdeen City Council is moving to have just formal council session per month, with two to three work sessions, City Manager Douglas Miller said.
"The mayor has initiated a long standing initiative of trying to increase our transparency and outreach," Miller said. "We are going to have two or three work sessions a month, and one formal business meeting."
The decision to switch to the new format came after the council's Feb. 25 meeting.
"[Mayor Michael Bennett] and I talked after that about meeting formats, and I told him what I did [for meeting formats] as a town manager in La Plata," Miller said. "The mayor and I discussed it and he liked the idea and talked with other council members."
Every meeting, including the work sessions, will be televised Thursday evenings on the Harford Cable Network, in an effort to increase transparency, Miller said.
"People watching us every week will be able to see how the sausage is made, so to speak," Miller added.
The city already pays $11,500 every year to record and televise city council meetings. With the new format, the city will increase its spending to $16,500 per year, according to Miller. That's not the end of the transparency initiative, though.
"Someday when we get video and audio streaming on our web page, people will be able to watch online, " Miller said. "We haven't gotten there yet. That's in a year or two."
According to the city's calendar on its website, it doesn't appear the formal council sessions are scheduled for any regular Monday of the month. March's meeting is March 25 (fourth Monday), April's is on the 22nd (fourth Monday), May's is on the 20th (third Monday) and June's is on the 10th (second Monday)
The next meeting is Monday, March 18 at 4 p.m. A regular city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 25 at 7 p.m.
Additional work sessions are scheduled at 4 p.m. April 8 and 15, May 6 and 13 and June 3 and 17.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun