City Council Announcements
September 19, 2006
A. Information Needed by Council Staff
1. During a Downtown Merchants Association discussion September 12 regarding vacant businesses downtown, some association members broached the idea of using building wraps, like those used for the 2002 Winter Olympics, to promote programs such as Downtown Rising or to make the downtown more interesting. The members said that building wraps – while expensive – might provide a more effective visual feature than putting signs and other displays in windows of vacant buildings. Association members said the Salt Lake City Zoning Ordinance prohibits building wraps. That appears to be true because the ordinance regulating the 2002 Winter Games expired in April 2002, according to the City’s “Infobase” site. Is there any interest among the City Council to explore allowing building wraps on vacant buildings to make the downtown more interesting visually? Council was asked to think about ordinance flexibility and share their ideas with staff.
2. Below is a list of ideas that may help streamline processes within the Council Office. Would the Council be interested in any of these approaches? Are there other ideas that Council Members would like to discuss? Council Members wanted to save this discussion for another night.
A. Subcommittee Process:
a. Consider setting up a series of meetings within a two-month period, rather than setting up meetings one at a time. This could save scheduling time, allow Council Members to plan further ahead, keep the issue fresh in everyone’s mind so that re-work can be avoided.
b. Consider having quarterly updates from Subcommittees listed on the announcements. This could facilitate an opportunity for a check-in with the full Council and help determine whether the Subcommittee’s approach will have broad support from the Council.
c. Provide direction to staff on setting up the meetings – in some cases two Council Members are available on a number of dates, but it isn’t possible to find a date where all three are available in the near future. Staff isn’t sure whether to go ahead and schedule with the two available, or wait until all three are available.
B. Legislative Action Process:
a. Consider whether the Council would like to retain outside consulting or legal assistance on some Legislative Action items, in order to further refine, complete additional professional / specialized research, or actually get an ordinance prepared.
b. Consider whether the Council would like to review quarterly or semi-annually a listing of outstanding Legislative Action items (we have a list of items adopted in the past that we need to bring to the Council for review. At that time the Council could determine whether they would like more frequent updates.)
c. Many years ago the Council process for Legislative Action items in the Council Office included obtaining the support of two additional Council Members in writing prior to advancing an item to the Council (for a total of three either sponsors or one sponsor and two supporters). This approach did not violate the open meetings law, but seemed to provide the Council with information on the potential depth of support.
3. During the Council retreat in January, the Council agreed to hold a refugee fact finding session, per the request of Council Members Carlton Christensen and Nancy Saxton. The Salt Lake City School District is willing to provide between three to six presenters who will attend the fact-finding meeting and provide input regarding refugee issues. It has been suggested that the presenters submit information to the Council prior to the fact-finding work session, that they take no more than ten minutes each, and that they avoid duplication in their presentations. Do Council Members have any input regarding this format for the refugee fact-finding session? Councilmember Christensen said the fact finding discussion could be held as outlined with each speaker having five minutes.