The Common Council will approve its rules and order next week and decide whether to move up the time of its work sessions. 

During this week's Wednesday work session, 4th Ward Alderman Kelly VanDeMark pitched the idea of moving the council's weekly work sessions from 4:30 to 5 p.m. Work sessions are open to the public and allow observers to see what the council will put to a vote during its business meetings, which are held at 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

None of the aldermen objected to VanDeMark's proposal, so it will go to a vote next Wednesday.

Another element of the rules and order spells out speaking rules for members of the public at council meetings. In their work session this week, the aldermen weighed the merits of keeping or disposing of the time limits on public speaking. Speakers are currently allotted five minutes to address items on the business meeting agenda and three minutes to address "the good of Lockport."

City Clerk Richelle Pasceri told the aldermen that one of the reasons for speaking limits is to ensure all speakers are is guaranteed the same amount of floor time.

"If you give somebody 20 minutes to speak, then technically you have to give everybody who speaks that same amount of time, so that consistency is key," she said.

Also Wednesday, Mayor Michelle Roman announced the hiring of a new city engineer to replace retiring engineer Rolando Moreno. 

James Elmer's salary will be $85,000, and with his hiring, Roman said, the city will be in compliance with a charter provision requiring the engineer to be a professional engineer. Moreno was not, she said.


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