Monday, October 1, 2007

Where oh where did the city codes go? Part 5

Part 1 2 3 4

Where they are finally going, is online.

In last Thursday's town workshop near the end of the discussion on recodification of the town laws, and multiple changes, the question was brought up by H.G. Cole if it was possible to put the proposed version online.

A brief discussion occurred on the best way to do it. Town Attorney Michele Elliott said that they could get a copy up, but it would take several days as MTAS would need to get involved. Hopefully by mid-week they will have it up.

Town manager Mark O'Neal and Michele Elliott did not seem comfortable about putting the draft codes online to avoid possible confusion between the draft and what they will finally vote on.

Two points I feel need to be addressed here. The state and federal governments puts proposed codes online yet the town of Smyrna feels confusion may occur if they do it. I trust that the people of Smyrna are smart enough to know that a draft is not the final copy. I understand that if confusion occurs it would likely end up on their desks and they would have to deal with irate citizens, but the benefits of people having this information outweighs the possible negative outcome.

The other issue is changes. Thursday night there was still talk of changes to the draft. The Mayor asked about lowering the weight limit on vehicles parking in residential areas as a way to get wreckers out of people drives, and the width of roads were also discussed. Less then two weeks before final vote and changes may still occur. This gives the people of Smyrna not a lot of time to address the equivalent of dozens upon dozens of ordinance changes at the same time.

A lot to swallow at the same time in my view.

That still allows less then a week for reading over 782 pages to see if there are changes that effect you, and that you feel need to be addressed to the council.

They did mention that the Thursday before the October town council meeting a person could go in a get a free copy of the codified ordinances. Even Mayor Spivey laughed about how that would be fun reading for a weekend.

Michele Elliott said that after the recodification is over that her her next goal was to get the town ordinances online. That way all ordinance changes would be added and a current version of the town code would be accessible to all. In the future I hope that the town can place full copies of future proposed ordinances online for viewing, not just copies of the legal notices as is their current practice.

By the end of this week the draft should be online. A good step. News of putting the city codes online in the near future is also good news.

Part 6 will likely be a report from the town council meeting. With the many changes I plan on getting there early as it could be a packed house.

No comments: