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Geneva City Council debates work sessions vs. sub-committees: What’s the best way to govern?

  • / Updated:
  • Josh Durso 

What’s the most-effective way to legislate at the city-level? That question is central in a debate around streamlining the process for adding items to Geneva City Council agendas.

Mayor Steve Valentino said he’d like to see a formal process that respects councilors ideas, while maintaining a unified workflow. Something he wants to avoid – individual Council members being pulled in too many directions.

However, other members of City Council, like Chris Lavin, say the best path forward would be creating sub-committees. Currently, City Council operates under a ‘committee of the whole’, by city charter, which is a complicated way of saying, there are no sub-committees, and city council as a whole is the committee.


Valentino discussed what he viewed as the biggest challenges associated with a change like the one proposed by Lavin. He noted at this point, Council is leaning toward creating work sessions, which will be open to the public, and have the same effect as sub-committees would. These sessions would be open to the public, likely held on recurring days/times, and allow all parties involved to share their views on directional items being considered by City Council before they became resolutions.

However, Valentino emphasized the importance of Council being prepared for all meetings and communicating effectively throughout the month.