Kanab Mayor Robert Houston conducted a well-attended regular meeting, before an extended closed executive session ensued. This being Mayor Houston’s first meeting, he confessed, “I have to admit I was a little nervous coming into the meeting tonight. For a long time I’ve wanted to be in this position and, now that I am, I’m realizing there is more to it than I envisioned. I will work to be the best mayor I can be.”

Houston followed the long established agenda sequence, but outlined how he will conduct future meetings. “I looked into the thick book “Robert’s Rules of Order” and put it back on the shelf. However, we will try to follow the bare essence of these rules to promote a more organized meeting,” he stated.

What Houston hopes to accommodate is more public input into the decision-making process. “I want to use the work session time starting at 6:30 p.m., to introduce and outline what issues are being considered and allow citizens attending the meeting to voice their concerns and opinions. This means we won’t necessarily start the regular meeting at 7 p.m. as before. We’ll take a reasonable amount of time in the work session to work through the issues, before taking council member votes (with an individually-identified roll call, rather than as a group) at the regular meeting.”

City attorney Greg Hardman reviewed instructions for holding an open meeting with the council. Highlights included; describing topics with reasonable specificity in the agenda; post a public notice 24 hours in advance of an open meeting; take action only on items that are included on the agenda; take specific minutes, including public comments and individual council member voting, and record the meeting for subsequent availability to the public.

Councilmember Brent Chamberlain was appointed to the position of Mayor Pro Tem, to act as the mayor in Houston’s absence.

These appointments were made to the following city boards: Parks and Recreation- Jack Tillinghast; Arts Council- Greg Deluca; City Beautification- Gayla Carpenter (Kirt excused himself from this vote citing a concern for Gayla still having time to make his lunches); Carol Sullivan- Heritage Board.

The approval of liquor licenses for Luo’s Café – seeking a distilled spirits license – and the new Fusion House – seeking a beer license – was tabled after Councilmember Kent Burggraaf questioned the basis on which these licenses were being granted.

Police Chief Tom Cram stated that his office does a background check, and if no red flags are identified, the city council can inform the state licensing agency that the city has no objections to granting a liquor license. The state then decides what type of license, if any, to issue to a business.

Burggraaf wanted to know what criteria went into the decision to recommend a business obtaining a license by the state. This should be resolved by the next council meeting on January 28.